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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rep. Causer Says Free Application For Student Aid Available Online

2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Now Available, Says Causer

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) would like to remind students and families that the 2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available online.

The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants, the need-based Pennsylvania State Grant, many scholarships, reduced-cost federal student loans, work-study programs, and many school-based student aid programs. Completing a FAFSA is a vital step students and families should take when looking for assistance in covering higher education costs.

Completing the FAFSA online helps reduce the potential for errors and offers a quicker processing time. Since most families complete a FAFSA online, the federal government will no longer provide paper FAFSAs. Families have the choice of completing and submitting the form electronically or printing the form and sending it to the U.S. Department of Education through traditional mail. To submit an electronic form, the student and parent must request a personal identification number (PIN) at pin.ed.gov. A PIN should be issued in approximately three days via e-mail and will serve as an electronic signature.

In addition to the FAFSA, first-time applicants for a Pennsylvania State Grant are required to submit a State Grant Form (SGF) which contains data elements not included on the FAFSA. Students will be able to link directly to the SGF from the FAFSA on the Web.

Since schools have different financial aid deadlines, families should complete and submit the FAFSA to the federal government prior to the earliest due date for financial aid applications. The Pennsylvania State Grant deadline is May 1 for all applicants submitting a renewal and first-time applicants in degree and transfer programs.

More information for students and families about obtaining financial aid is available at RepCauser.com.

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