The University of Connecticut’s deadline to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this year is Feb. 15, two weeks sooner than in past years, Vice President of the Division of Enrollment Planning and Management Nathan Fuerst said.
Fuerst, who oversees financial aid for the University, said that the change was made so that incoming students would be able to receive both their financial aid and admissions decision at once.
“We’re excited to be able to offer students their admissions decision and financial aid package at the same time,” Fuerst said.
Up until this year, Fuerst said that the deadline to apply was March 1, towards the later portion of when most other universities’ deadlines were.
“Most institutions are on March 1 or earlier, no one is really later,” Fuerst said of survey findings of other universities’ deadlines.
According to the UConn Financial Aid website, approximately 63% of undergraduate students receive some form of “gift aid,” mostly grants or scholarships. This translates to nearly $400 million worth of aid (financial-aid).
This change comes after the “prior prior year change” in 2016, when the FAFSA opened for students beginning Oct. 1, as opposed to January 1, Fuerst said.
Students who apply for the FAFSA are automatically considered for institutional aid from UConn: grants, scholarships, etc. If a student applies after the Feb. 15 deadline, they are still eligible for federal loans, just not institutional aid from UConn itself, Fuerst said.
With the old March 1 deadline, Fuerst said that the University wasn’t able to release financial aid decisions until after admission decisions were sent out.
“We wanted to put ourselves in a position to better inform students with their admissions offer in regards to their financial aid,” Fuerst said. “We thought a two week change was pretty minimal.”
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.