Window to apply for Federal student Aid now open

Senior+Ryleigh+Bates+applies+for+FAFSA+as+it+opened+up+October+1st.+FAFSA+gives+out+loans+or+grants+to+students+to+pay+for+college+if+they+are+eligible.

Amelia Jáuregui

Senior Ryleigh Bates applies for FAFSA as it opened up October 1st. FAFSA gives out loans or grants to students to pay for college if they are eligible.

Yael Even, Managing Editor

The voluntary window for high school seniors to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid opens on Tuesday, but starting in 2021, it will be mandatory for seniors in Texas to apply in order to graduate.

“FAFSA is grants or loans students can apply for to help pay for college,” career and college counselor Shawna Chamberlin said. “I think it’s important for students to look at the process, submit the application, and then you can decide whether or not it’s something you want to take advantage of.”

Regardless of a student’s financial situation, Chamberlin still believes students should apply for FAFSA.

“Students should submit for financial aid because it depends, financial aid is kind of like a snowflake, everyone is unique,” Chamberlain said. “Not every student is going to have the same family circumstances, just because we may live in Frisco, and we can assume families here are wealthy and can pay for college, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t certain grants that are available to students who may financial be able to pay for college without that.”

Parent of 2018 graduate McKenna Swallow, Kara Swallow submitted a FAFSA in the effort to qualify for financial aid.

“McKenna did file for FAFSA,” Kara Swallow said. “We didn’t qualify unfortunately. It benefited me when I was in college. I received a Pell Grant my senior year after I was married. Prior to that, they considered my parents income so I didn’t qualify.”

Although the family didn’t benefit from submitting a FAFSA, Kara Swallow suggests it’s worth the try.

“People should file for FAFSA when they don’t have the ability to pay for college on their own, but have a desire to attend and further their education,” Swallow said. “Educational opportunities should be available to as many people as possible. FAFSA can facilitate aiding those less fortunate.” 

Senior Elly Campbell isn’t letting where she lives prevent her from submitting a FAFSA.

“Just because I live in Frisco doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to get scholarships and financial aid,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t hurt to fill out FAFSA because it’s an easy way to possibly get money for college.”