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Where to get help with filling out the FAFSA for next year

Oct. 1 was the first day to complete federal student aid applications nationwide.

TEXAS, USA — Every year on Oct. 1, high school seniors, their parents and current college students prepare to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). West Texas high schools and colleges are joining together to help students and parents with filling out information properly. 

The United States Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid reports it provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year.

Eldorado High School teamed up with Howard College in San Angelo to help parents and students in the area apply for financial aid. 

“I think it’s important for us to help parents who aren’t as tech savvy and students who need help understanding. This could be an overwhelming time for everyone which is why we step in and get them through this process step-by-step,” Eldorado HS guidance counselor Lyndi O’Neil said. 

In 2019, Texas passed a law requiring all graduating high school seniors to complete the FAFSA. This has caused FAFSA applications to increase drastically throughout the state. 

Still, there are many common mistakes made when completing the application. Some include entering the wrong Social Security number, submitting a name that does not match your legal name, or simply taking too long to file. This all according to NerdWallet.com. 

This is why Angelo State University offers one-on-one counseling for potential college students to spend time with a counselor and student to apply for financial aid proficiently. 

“Simple mistakes make things more difficult than they need to be every day. This is why we have one-on-one sessions with parents and teachers to answer any questions they may have regarding FAFSA. Federal aid is so important for all students to do because no matter what they plan to do after high school, they will still be prepared to earn a higher education if they please,” ASU Financial Aid director Ed Kerestly said. 

The week of Oct 18-21, Region 15 will be hosting a FAFSA/TASFA week aimed at helping parents and students apply for financial aid. Students and parents are required to bring their Social Security card, driver license (alien registration, if applicable), 2020 tax return and FAFSA username and password. 

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