You must complete this application for each academic year to determine your eligibility to participate in federal, state, and institutional grant and loan programs. The FAFSA is available beginning October 1. An academic year generally consists of a fall, spring and summer term. Schools must define whether summer begins or ends an academic year for financial aid purposes. NIU has defined the academic year to begin with fall and end with summer. The 2017 -2018 FAFSA is for the Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 academic year.
Now! MAP grant eligible students should plan to file the FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) uses a “first-come, first-served” methodology, based on the FAFSA processing date, to allocate limited funds. Once the state-wide application volume reaches the estimated number of students that can be funded, ISAC suspends all future applications.
It is advisable to complete the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The second best option is to use information from a completed tax return. See FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool
You should double check to make sure your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number are also reported accurately on your NIU Admission application. These three data elements are used to match the results of your FAFSA to your student record. Last year over 600 new students reported one of these items incorrectly on either the FAFSA or NIU Admission application, resulting in significant delays.
The FAFSA serves as the application for both federal financial aid and the State of Illinois MAP grant.
ISAC EFC Calculator: http://www.isac.org/calculators/
For the past several years the deadline to file the FAFSA for MAP Grant consideration has been earlier each subsequent year due to limited funding availability, increasing numbers of applicants, and ISAC’s need to suspend awarding to stay within their level of funding for the year.
The suspension date for MAP deadline has not been determined. We estimate the deadline could be as early as end of October to November. FAFSA applications submitted after the date are placed in a suspense status and will not have MAP awarded unless additional funding becomes available. The funding cutoff date is dependent on application volume and will be even earlier this year.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a feature that helps streamline the FAFSA by allowing online FAFSA filers to securely pull tax data directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).