The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

Priority FAFSA form due today

Early applicants have advantage

Students who completed their FAFSA form and Financial Aid Profile by today’s deadline have an advantage over those who chose to procrastinate.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used to qualify students for grants, loans and other forms of college aid.

This year, administrators say students who applied by today’s priority deadline will have the opportunity to receive all of the aid they qualify for, while students who waited to apply might not.

“We strongly encourage students to apply on time,” said Phil Asbury, deputy director for scholarships and student aid at UNC.

“Apply by the date to be available for all type of aid offered.”

Undergraduate students have to fill out both the FAFSA and Financial Aid Profile by the deadline to receive the most possible aid, he said.

The profile is used by the University to award non-federal student aid, Asbury said.

He said the University would still process applications after the deadline, but the further from the deadline an application is submitted, the less aid a student will receive.

This is because while federal loans are processed throughout the year, money that institutions are able to give is limited. So if a student waits too long, they might not receive all of the aid they would have qualified for, he said.

As of Monday, almost 8,000 UNC students had submitted their FAFSA forms, Asbury said.

He said the University expects an increase in the number of students who apply and are eligible for aid, but the increase is not expected to be as large as in recent years.

Haley Chitty, a spokesman for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said there has also been an increase in applicants on a federal level and more money is expected to be given to students.

“In the most recent years there have been some really dramatic increases,” he said. “We are not going to see anything on that same level but still see increases.”

According to a report by Congressional Research Service, the number of FAFSA applications submitted nationwide increased by 8.5 percent from academic year 2009-10 to 2010-11.

The increase was smaller than the 19 percent jump from 2008-09 to 2009-10, the report states.

Asbury said the University has been trying to remind students about the FAFSA deadline by sending e-mails and working with the admissions office to inform students applying to the university.

Sophomore Jalita Norwood, a communication studies major, said when she filled out her form last week, she didn’t have trouble filling it out.

But she said she wished the form represented a person’s financial situation better.

“It is reflective of the previous year,” she said. “I wish it would take into account current situation.”

Students can visit to fill out the form.

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