The priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as the deadline for general university scholarships are approaching. Students may gain thousands of dollars in aid by filing ahead of the deadlines.

Depending on a student’s financial aid eligibility, Virginia Tech's Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid finds students can lose a substantial amount of financial aid if they miss the FAFSA filing deadline. In-state students could potentially lose up to $10,400 in aid, and out-of-state students could potentially lose up to $11,500 in aid.  

Completing the FAFSA allows students to be considered for all types of aid including federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. In addition, many scholarship applications require the FAFSA to determine student financial need in addition to other application materials.

“We encourage all students, regardless of their family’s income, to meet the FAFSA priority deadline,” said Barry Simmons, director of the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid. “It allows us to look at all aid options for students to help them get their education without significant financial burdens. Even for students whose families have significant income, the FAFSA is often a requirement to apply for merit scholarships; without it, students can’t be considered.”

Over the past several years, the office has seen about 15 percent of the student population file for the FAFSA after the priority deadline.

Help with the FAFSA

Virginia Tech is working with the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to host "Super Saturday" events across the commonwealth to help families complete the FAFSA.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the organization will offer help in 48 locations across Virginia from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Representatives from the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid will be present at four of the locations.

General Scholarships

Beyond the FAFSA, students can apply for a variety of university scholarships. The deadline for general scholarships is Feb. 15. Criteria for these scholarships vary and may include hometown or state of residence, academic achievement, and financial need.

The average scholarship awards range between $1,500 and $3,000 for an academic year. General scholarships are one-time annual awards. Students must apply each year to be considered.

Scholarships through colleges and departments are also available. The application process and deadlines vary.

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