When Is the FAFSA Deadline?

You can submit the 2021-22 FAFSA until June 30, 2022. File early for the best chance of getting more financial aid.

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Dive deeper into FAFSA

You have to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for each school year to qualify for aid like grants, scholarships, federal work-study and federal student loans.

But deadlines vary for federal, state and institutional aid. The two most important dates you need to remember are Oct. 1 and June 30.

FAFSA open date and deadline

Academic year

FAFSA open date

Federal FAFSA deadline

2021-22

Oct. 1, 2020

June 30, 2022

2022-23

Oct. 1, 2021

June 30, 2023

File your FAFSA for next year close to October 1

Each year, the FAFSA opens on Oct. 1. File your FAFSA as close to Oct. 1 as possible to improve your chances of qualifying for the most grant, scholarship and work-study aid. Applications began being accepted for the 2021-22 school year on Oct. 1, 2020. For the 2022-23 school year, the start date is Oct. 1, 2021.

Certain aid is awarded to students who apply the earliest, such as federal work-study dollars and many state and institutional grants and scholarships.

File your FAFSA for last year by June 30

The federal government gives students a deadline of June 30 after the school year in which they need aid — for instance, June 30, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year or June 30, 2023, for the 2022-23 school year — to file the FAFSA.

But you have to submit the form much earlier to meet financial aid deadlines for your state and college and to get your aid dollars in time for the start of the school year.

You only have to file the FAFSA once to be eligible for all three types of aid. Here’s what you need to know about each.

State and institutional FAFSA deadlines

States and individual colleges set their own FAFSA deadlines that are typically much earlier than the federal one. You have to file your application by these deadlines to qualify for state and institutional grants and scholarships.

If you’re attending an out-of-state school, you may not qualify for state aid — check with the state to see if you do. Find your state financial aid deadline on the Federal Student Aid website.

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Federal FAFSA deadline

The federal deadline is your last chance to submit the FAFSA each year. If you need financial aid for the 2021-22 school year, you can submit the form until June 30, 2022.

Work-study dollars and most state and institutional aid will run out the fastest, but there will still be time to qualify for federal grants and student loans.

Even if you wait until June 30, you can receive these grants and loans retroactively to cover what you’ve already paid for the spring and fall semester. Or, depending on your school, you may be able to apply the funds to pay for 2022 summer school.

Frequently asked questions

The FAFSA opens on Oct. 1 each year.

Apply for the FAFSA as soon as possible after it opens. Applying early gives you the best chance at getting the most free money for school.

The FAFSA for the 2020-21 school year is due June 30, 2021. Corrections are due Sept. 11, 2021.

Yes, apply for the FAFSA as soon as it opens, even if that's before you have applied or been accepted to any colleges. When you initially fill out the FAFSA, you only have to list one of the colleges you're considering applying to but it is best to include all the colleges you are considering so you don't miss out on any financial aid. You will be able to add colleges later on as well.

Next steps

Track colleges’ financial aid deadlines. Priority deadlines at individual schools often fall the earliest, so those deadlines are the most important to track. Those dates are also the best chance to get the most aid. Look up the deadlines for all of the schools you’re applying to and write them down in one place — try using your phone’s calendar, a spreadsheet or a notebook dedicated to your college search.

Submit any other financial aid applications. Many schools require additional or alternative financial aid applications, such as the CSS Profile, to qualify for state or institutional aid. You'll need to submit all the required paperwork before the deadline to be considered for aid.

Above all, remember Oct. 1. It’s not a deadline, but if you submit your FAFSA soon after that day, you’ll cover all your bases.

Wait for your financial aid award letter, which details how much free aid you qualify for and how much in federal loans you can borrow. You may appeal your award if you didn’t get enough aid.

You can make changes to the FAFSA after you've applied. If you spot an error or you need more aid due to a change in your family's finances, you can update the FAFSA. Sign in to fafsa.ed.gov then on the “My FAFSA” page, click on “Make FAFSA Corrections,” enter your FSA ID, change the information and resubmit your application.

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