The time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid begins Oct. 1 this year, months earlier than previous FAFSA application cycles, and Oakton Community College will hold coaching sessions on completing the forms for four weeks this fall.

Oakton financial aid professionals will provide free assistance in completing FAFSA applications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays the weeks of Oct. 3, 17, 24 and 31 in the enrollment centers at its campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie.

Participants need to bring a 2015 tax return and W-2 forms.

The FAFSA is used to determine need-based, federal aid such as Pell grants and student loans as well as state aid.

The new FAFSA filing procedure this year offers several additional benefits for students:

  • Applicants will no longer need to estimate income and tax information and will be able to retrieve their data directly from the IRS, right from the first day the FAFSA is available.
  • A mobile version of the application will be available for students to apply on their smart phones.
  • Students will have information about their Expected Family Contributions earlier, helping them as they’re going through the college application and selection process.

Students are encouraged to complete their FAFSA as soon as possible, as Illinois state financial aid in the form of Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Additionally, institutional scholarships and other resources often use information obtained from the FAFSA.

“Completing the FAFSA early is vital for students to have access to the most up-to-date financial aid information,” said Oakton Manager of Student Financial Assistance Jamie Petersen. “Filling out the application with a financial aid professional will ensure students submit the most accurate application possible.”

For more information, call 847-635-1700 or 847-635-1400

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