Five Facts: FAFSA and Financial Aid

Second semester is underway–you’ve figured out how tuition payments work (hopefully!) and you’re well on your way to a strong second semester! Now what?!

You NEED to fill out the FAFSA this year.

Even though you likely filled it out last year, you must fill it out again this year in order to keep (or receive) your financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The FAFSA deadline has CHANGED!

The priority deadline is now February 1, 2017! This deadline is fast approaching, so be sure to start working on your FAFSA application so you don’t miss the deadline!

Earlier, easier, huh?

Yes, you’ve probably been hearing that this year the FAFSA is “Earlier, Easier, and More Accurate.” This year you will use your 2015 tax information to file your FAFSA. For more information on changes for this year, check out the Student Financial Aid website!

Scholarships!

There are SOO many great opportunities for scholarships. Personally, I have always found it beneficial to check my college’s website for major specific scholarships (or asking my academic advisor). Other scholarships you might want to look into:

  • Ohio State Special Scholarships Application
  • Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Student Leadership Endowment Fund
    • DUE: February 5, 2017
    • WHAT: The purpose of this scholarship is to provide funds that enable deserving students to participate in campus activities when need might otherwise make it impossible for them to do so. There will be multiple scholarships awards at a minimum of $2,500 divided over 2 semesters.
    • APPLICATION: Edward S. Beanie Scholarship Application
  • Student Alumni Council Scholarship
    • DUE: January 31, 2017
    • WHAT: 5 scholarships (3 for current first years and 2 for upperclassmen) for students who have expressed excellence and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom
    • APPLICATION: Student Alumni Council Scholarship Application

Still confused?

You’re not alone–we totally understand that this can be a confusing and sometimes stressful process. If you have specific questions about financial aid or the FAFSA, Student Financial Aid has lots of helpful resources on their website!

  • More questions? Contact Buckeye Link
    • In Person: First floor lobby of the Student Academic Services Building (281 W. Lane Ave)
      • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday
    • Call: 614-292-0300
    • Email: buckeyelink@osu.edu

8 Things I am Doing While Home for Winter Break

Check over grades

Before I completely check out for the semester, I will definitely log into my Buckeye Link or Ohio State Mobile App to make sure my official grades look alright. You should do the same! Double check them with what is in Carmen. If you think there is a mistake don’t hesitate to email your professors to clarify.

OSU Mobile App

File the FAFSA

Since the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is due Feb. 15, I will definitely take some time to fill it out over break! Complete the form for free through the FAFSA website. The application opens Jan. 1, so the last week of winter break is the perfect time to get it done. You will need information from your parents from last year so completing it while all together is ideal. I know I will be glad to have it done by the time February rolls around and I am swamped with spring semester midterms!

fafsa_header

Apply for scholarships

There are so many scholarships out there and I definitely will take the time to fill out a few applications over break. Keep in mind that some of these applications require you to fill out the FAFSA, so make sure you do that as well! A few easy ones to apply for are the:

Pay fees for spring semester

Since the fee payment deadline is Monday, Jan. 4, I definitely will make sure I have all my fees paid on time so I don’t risk being dropped from my classes.

Review schedule for spring semester

I plan to go over my schedule to make sure everything looks good before the semester starts. I will check on any classes I was waitlisted for to see if I have been placed in the class or if I need to make any changes to my schedule. I want to make sure I start second semester off on the right foot!

Class Schedule

Purchase books for spring semester!

Since the books I need will likely be posted before break is over, I’ll check this over to make sure I have all the necessary books. You can find the books you need in your course syllabi (if your professors post them on Carmen before the semester starts) or on Buckeye Link. On Buckeye Link, click on “My Class Schedule” then select “Spring 2016 Semester” and then the “Buy Books” button is a blue hyperlink in the top right corner. This will take you directly to the Barnes and Noble website. I usually look at this list and then check out other book sources (such as used bookstores and Amazon) to find the cheapest place to purchase or rent those textbooks.

Doctor’s appointments!

Take advantage of this extended break to take care of any necessary doctor’s appointments. I know I personally have multiple appointments set up for over break so I don’t have to worry about them during the semester.

Doctors Appointment

Relax!

We’ve worked hard this semester and deserve a break! I definitely plan on taking some time to enjoy some holiday movies by the fireplace!

Winterbreak