Paying for College

When is the FAFSA Form Due?

Question:The deadlines on the FAFSA website are confusing. My daughter is currently a senior in high school, and she will begin her undergraduate freshman year in September of 2011. Can you please clear up when the deadline for the FAFSA will be for us?

All of this is confusing, isn't it? (And the FAFSA deadlines are just the tip of the iceberg!)

The official FAFSA deadline for your daughter is June 30th, 2011.

But, depending on where your daughter is applying, you may need to complete the FAFSA well before that. Some colleges can have deadlines as early as February and March. So read college Web sites carefully to make certain you know when the FAFSA is due at each of your daughter's target colleges. You can expedite this process by using the College Board "QuickFinder" to search for colleges on your daughter's list. The financial-aid form due dates will be under the "Deadlines" heading for each college. (But I suggest double-checking with colleges to make sure the College Board info is up to date.)

Also check to make sure that you don't need to complete additional forms as well. (The most common ones are the CSS Profile form and, sometimes, a college's own form.)

Good luck as you continue to navigate this maze.