Some States Are Making College Aid Available On A First Come, First Served Basis

Photo: Flickr / Sewanee: The University of the South

The clock is ticking for college students applying for state-funded financial aid.Most states offer priority consideration to all students submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the deadline, but that won’t happen this year. 

Over six of them, including Illinois, Kentucky and North Carolina, have “until funds depleted” policies for the 2012-2013 school year, according to FAFSA’s deadline sheet.

North Carolina was the newest state of the bunch to add this policy to its 2011 – 2012 application.

The “funds depleted” policy makes college aid available to students on a first-come, first-served basis, which means students need to act fast. 

Several states said tighter budgets and an influx of FAFSA applications gave them little choice but to cap their funds. Josette Green, executive director at the Oregon Student Access Commission told SmartMoney’s Annamaria Andriotis that applications for aid have already risen by 32 per cent this year, compared to last year. 

As a result, some students are opting to attend private universities, which often provide their own scholarships. 

Sam Director, a freshman and Oregon native, decided to attend Whitworth University in Washington since the costs to attend a public university near home were about the same, reported The Spokesman-Review.

Director received a $16,000 scholarship from Whitworth University for his good grades, which he said was  “definitely a factor” in deciding to go to a private school.

“I wouldn’t have gone to a private school if it was going to cost me more,” he told the paper. 

Oregon, which had an “until funds depleted” policy in 2011, has given students until tomorrow to submit their applications, the earliest deadline nationwide. 

For the full list of state aid deadlines, visit Fafsa.ed.gov.  

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