It’s not about the money, money, money … … … well, actually it is

keep-calm-and-file-fafsaYou’ve probably had a barrage of communications already, but I’m going to use my little bloggy platform to remind you about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You probably know it by its catchier nickname, FAFSA. Other than your degree finalization request, which I blogged about in December, the FAFSA may be the most important form you fill out during your college career.

More than 75 percent of degree-seeking NLU students receive some form of financial aid to help pay for their education, and the FAFSA is the basis for all of it. If you plan to take classes in summer 2014 or anytime during the 2014-2015 school year, fill out your FAFSA now! Yes, I’m exclaiming at you! I might even resort to SHOUTY ALL CAPS. It’s that important.

A completed FAFSA is not only necessary to be eligible for federal money, but it is also required for state awards like the Illinois State Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant). And, the funding for the MAP Grant has been known to run dry well before the FAFSA deadline, so it pays, literally, to complete your FAFSA early.

The FAFSA is available online. The super-helpful Financial Aid team would be happy to answer any questions that you may have and are even available for appointments just to help you complete your FAFSA. You can reach them by email or phone, 888.658.8632, option 3. The Financial Aid representatives know their stuff and, unlike your friendly blogger here, aren’t scared of math, plus there are five different languages spoken by team members (!) — English, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Urdu. So no excuses, fill out your FAFSA today!

Psssst. By the way, you can still fill out your 2013-2014 FAFSA, too, if you haven’t already and are still enrolled in winter or spring classes.