States with first-come, first-served financial aid programs

With the new FAFSA, families are able to complete the financial aid form that a majority of schools use to determine financial aid eligibility sooner than later. This new Oct. 1 opening date, along with changes that make the form’s tax information easier to file, was put in place in an effort to make the financial aid process easier to navigate for those families that need the assistance most.

However, schools have responded to this earlier application date by adjusting their financial aid deadlines. For this reason, families will need to, potentially now more than ever, understand the different financial aid deadlines at each of their prospective schools.

While deadlines could be different across the board, there are some schools that have always required families to complete the financial aid process as soon as possible in order to be considered for maximum award.

These are the states that currently handle financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis:

  • Alaska
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Washington

These schools award aid on a first-come, first-served basis until aid runs out.

Oregon was previously a first-come, first-served state, but they appear to be in the process of dropping this stance. The other eight schools listed above could decide to move on from their first-come, first-served¬†stance, but it doesn’t appear this will be the case for the 2017-18 school year.

So, what does all of this mean?

For those families applying for aid for the 2017-18 school year, know that schools could have different financial aid form deadlines. Families will need to be sure to complete forms as soon after Oct. 1 as possible for the eight states referenced above.

Getting to know the new FAFSA >>

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