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Students Seeking College Aid Should Start Jan. 1

Students Seeking College Aid Should Start Jan. 1

The Bellingham Herald, Wash.

Washington-It’s the holiday season and stress levels are running high. But for many high school seniors and their parents, there is an added stress this time of year: figuring out how to pay for college.

Starting Jan. 1, students are able to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA, the single form that is used to determine how much financial aid a student will receive from the federal government and their college of choice.

“It’s the way the colleges can put together their financial aid packages,” said Debbie Granger, career center counselor at Squalicum High School. “If you don’t have that FAFSA filled out, then they can’t give grants, institutional grants, federal grants … they need that information.”

The application goes through the Federal Student Aid office in the U.S. Department of Education, which processes more than 14 million applications each year and disburses more than $80 billion in aid through school financial aid packages each year.

“Money shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do,” said Shelly Finnigan, a sophomore at University of Hawaii at Manoa and a graduate of Squalicum High School.

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