Assistance for Late Filers
How late can I file and still meet my deadline?
Filing your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st is always recommended.
While we can’t guarantee that your FAFSA will be submitted or fully processed by
any date, we generally suggest that you submit your information to us at least one
week prior to your state and/or school deadlines to allow sufficient time for us
to help you resolve any unexpected issues prior to electronic submission, and to
give you time to complete and submit the signature page.
If you have less than a week before your deadline(s), we may still be able to assist
you! Our Deadline Advantage services can often help late filers—even those
on the eve of a filing deadline—to complete and electronically file their FAFSA.
Late filers must be aware that we offer no deadline guarantees, and that our ability
to assist you largely depends on when you contact us and on the accuracy and completeness
of the information you provide in order for us to prepare and electronically file
When time is critical, our phone service may be your best bet! Please be
sure to call us no less than one hour before closing (see
Hours of Operation) to ensure ample time to complete the phone
interview, and for our Application Review and Processing Team to review your application materials
prior to submission.
Special Considerations for Late Filers
If you’re filing late, here are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:
The Central Processing System (CPS), the federal contractor primarily responsible
for processing FAFSA applications, is located in the Central Time Zone. This means
that FAFSA application receipts are recorded in CENTRAL time; therefore, you MUST
pay careful attention to your submission times when up against a deadline.
For example, if you live in California and have a midnight, March 2nd filing deadline,
and your FAFSA is submitted at 10:30 p.m. YOUR time (Pacific Standard Time),
you’ve already missed your deadline! Because while it may be 10:30 p.m. on March
2nd in California, it’s already 12:30 a.m. (Central Time) on March 3rd in Kansas,
where the Central Processing System is located.
||Pay careful attention to deadline filing specifics. For example, some school financial
aid offices require your FAFSA to be submitted by a certain date in order
for you to be considered on time, while others require the FAFSA to be
fully processed (released by the federal processor and your signature page
signed) in order for you to be on time.
||Fortunately, a majority of schools go by the FAFSA submission date for deadline
purposes, which means that, in some cases, it may be possible for you to electronically
submit your application by a given date and be considered on time, even though your
application may not be fully processed until several days later!
||Many schools require additional applications and/or forms for financial aid consideration.
We strongly encourage all students to check with their school
financial aid offices for information on their exact financial aid policies, procedures,
requirements and deadlines.
||Finally, even if you’ve completely missed filing deadlines, you are still encouraged
to file your FAFSA. Regardless of when you apply, you should be eligible for at
least the Federal Stafford and Parent (PLUS) loans, which offer very favorable terms.
And if you demonstrate need, Federal Pell Grants and other forms of aid may still
*We consistently review our files to keep them up-to-date and reliable. However,
because state and school filing deadlines are subject to change and are beyond our
control, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the deadline information in our database,
nor do we guarantee FAFSA submissions by any particular date. Furthermore, while
most school financial aid offices use the FAFSA “Transaction Receipt Date” (the
date the FAFSA is submitted to the federal processor) in determining whether an
applicant is considered “on time,” a small percentage use the date on which the
FAFSA application is “fully processed.” (Note: A “fully processed” FAFSA typically
means that the application has been processed by the federal processor and made
available to the financial aid office, and that the applicant has met the signature
requirement—either by signing and returning the signature page or by signing the
FAFSA electronically using a PIN.) Financial aid applicants should also be aware
that, in addition to the FAFSA, some schools require additional applications or
forms in order to be considered for financial aid. We strongly encourage all students
to check with their school’s financial aid office to determine their exact financial
aid policies, procedures, requirements and deadlines, and to file early.
Our services simplify and expedite the application process, helping clients to prepare
and electronically submit FAFSA applications quickly and efficiently. We offer personalized
application review by experienced Student Aid Advisors to help ensure error-free
FAFSAs. However, because we do not independently verify the accuracy of information
provided to us by clients, and because rules and regulations do change, we can not
guarantee that all applications will be error-free or will not be selected for verification.
Finally, we recommend that clients submit their application materials to us at least
one week prior to a deadline. While we pledge our “best effort” in helping all clients
meet application deadlines—particularly those who have delayed filing—we do not
guarantee FAFSA submissions by any particular date.
** Many types of financial aid are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served
basis. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students file their FAFSA as soon
as possible after January 1st (the date the federal processor begins accepting applications),
or at least by their individual state and school filing deadlines, in order to receive
consideration for the maximum amount of financial aid for which they may be eligible.
Actual financial aid eligibility and award packages are determined by federal and
state agencies and the financial aid offices of individual schools, and are beyond