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Articles / Paying for College / When is the FAFSA Form Due?

Sept. 11, 2010

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.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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