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Data on Timing of FAFSA Filing

March 20, 2019

Many state grant aid programs use data from the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid. And those programs often feature fixed application deadlines or distribute aid on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, if students file earlier, they may be more likely to access state aid.

New data from CampusLogic, a student financial services firm, tracks when the roughly 2.4 million FAFSA applications were filed during the 2018-19 aid cycle. The company found that dependent students from the wealthiest quartile were mostly likely to file their applications early, in the months between October 2017 and January 2018. Dependent students from the neediest quartile tended to file later, between April and October 2018.

However, the neediest independent students submitted a higher percentage of FAFSAs earlier in the aid year than other independent FAFSA filers.


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