FAFSA Day Massachusetts, a College Goal Sunday Program, is a non-profit, volunteer-driven program providing free assistance to students and families seeking to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 41 sites across the Commonwealth host FAFSA Day events between now and the end of February, including high schools, libraries, and colleges. MEFA is a proud sponsor of this program and has been for several years.
For the past few years, I have volunteered at FAFSA Day Massachusetts, providing immediate help and guidance to families completing their FAFSAs. Families are so grateful for the help they receive from volunteers, and it's rewarding for me to see first hand their relief when each family's FAFSA has been completed and submitted. I often hear from families that although they have been fearful of the FAFSA process, once they start it, it isn't so difficult. The FAFSA.gov website provides guidance on each question and hints along the way.
This year I attended the event at Marlborough High School. The event kicked off with about 50 families attending an overview of the FAFSA and another 40 families working on their FAFSAs online in the library. Every family had the opportunity to complete and submit their FAFSA that evening. The one common theme I heard through the event was how much better the families felt, knowing that they had someone there to help them. Here are some common questions we received during this event:
Do I have to register with Selective Service?
If the student is born male and is 18-25 years old, he must register with Selective Service in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. Students are given the option on the FAFSA to be automatically registered.
What is the deadline to complete the FAFSA?
Each college has its own financial aid deadline. Families should check each individual school's financial aid page to determine the deadline date. After submitting the FAFSA, the family's FAFSA information will be immediately distributed electronically to each college and university listed on the FAFSA. Families should therefore make sure to submit the FAFSA by their earliest financial aid deadline.
We helped about 100 families successfully complete the FAFSA at Marlboro High School. Hearing directly from families about how much they appreciated our assistance and support was so great for me to hear.
If you haven't completed your FAFSA and would like some help, there are still 11 upcoming FAFSA Day events. Visit FAFSADay.org for more information and to register today. MEFA is also here to help you with any questions you may have on the FAFSA or the financial aid process. You can contact us at 800.449.MEFA (6332) or firstname.lastname@example.org.