Local financial aid administrators say there are multiple reasons to apply early, but if a student wants to get the best financial aid package available, they need to apply early.
While some funds like pell grants and student loans are guaranteed not to run out, that aid on it’s own may not be enough to cover tuition.
Other programs that help fill in that gap, like state and institiutional funds are limited in funding, and are typically awarded in the order that students apply for financial aid.
With many out of work due to the pandemic, the need is much higher. The aid is based on your 2019 taxes, but if your income has been reduced that will be taken into consideration.
Students will have to apply with the required documents first, then file an income reduction form, making the process longer.
“Since it’s done after the fact, that means that there has to be time for that to be processed. So that’s also another reason why, cause it means that the earlier you submit your FAFSA, the more time you have to make these processes.” Says Jael Perez, UTRGV Associate Director for Financial Aid Operations & Community Liaison
Perez adds equally important is you application for admission to a college or university, because they will not be able to award you a financial aid package until you are enrolled.
If students need assistance, UTRGV has computer labs at both campuses that can assist will the process.