By ROB DENSONIowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation Board MemberFamilies who will have students in college for the 2024-2025 school year should prepare to take the first step in the financial aid process now.The newly revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for 2024-2025 has been delayed but will be released by December 31. Students and their parents should fill it out as soon as possible to ensure the best consideration for available college funding, which may be limited. For incoming freshmen, submitting earlier rather than later may also mean more opportunity to compare financial aid offers from multiple institutions before the final decision must be made.The information on the FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid, like work-study and federal student loans, as well as aid from the state and the college itself. These include grants and scholarships that do not need to be repaid.Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, which funds college as ISL Education Lending, encourages all students to complete the FAFSA even if they don't feel they qualify for financial aid. Nearly all students are eligible for some federal student loans, and the college may require the FAFSA to be submitted before awarding scholarships or other aid, whether or not it has an income requirement.To prepare:* Locate or create a Federal Student Aid log in information, or an FSA ID, for the student and the parent or guardian who will be completing the FAFSA. To create an FSA ID for the first time, visit* Gather 2022 state and federal tax returns, income and other financial information.* Watch for notifications that the FAFSA is available online at fafsa.govAfter completion, you will be able to direct the FAFSA be sent to your college. If you will be a freshman in 2024-2025, you can send your FAFSA to multiple institutions. Each college will then use the results to determine financial need, or how much of a gap you have between the cost of attendance and your available savings and earnings. If you need help with the FAFSA, contact your college's financial aid office or set up an appointment at no cost with ICAN at ICAN can also help new college students compare financial aid offers from multiple institutions.Filling out the FAFSA is just one of the many steps to the college planning process. ISL, a nonprofit that helps families pay for college, offers several additional online resources and award programs. To learn more about programs that can help pay for college, visit


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