In Illinois, October is College Changes Everything® (CCE) Month, a campaign launched by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission(ISAC) to address the change to “early FAFSA” and assist students who will be completing college applications at the same time they are filing financial aid forms. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to apply for all federal and some state financial aid; filing it is an important first step to maximizing financial aid. This year, students will be able to file their 2017-18 beginning October 1, 2016, instead of having to wait until January, as in previous years.
Because some financial aid programs—including the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP grant)–are awarded on a first-come first-served basis, eligible students should file their FAFSAs as soon as possible after October 1st in order to have the best chance of receiving funding. Students should check with their college for all school-specific deadlines.
During CCE Month, ISAC will partner with schools and communities to help students navigate these changes, and will offer support for students and families with both college application and FAFSA completion. (Learn more here.)