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Cathy Taylor
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2017 College Students Urged to Apply for Financial Aid in October

Students attending college in 2017-2018 may begin completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as Oct. 1, 2016. President Obama announced this change in September 2015 which allows students’ financial aid process to coincide with the college admissions application process. Students and families will use their 2015 income information to complete the FAFSA.

“I think this change will allow students and families to complete their FAFSA with more accurate information and will be less burdensome in reporting income information,” said Chad Flannery, Executive Dean of Student Services at Southeastern Illinois College.

While the application is available earlier than ever, early application is still as imperative as before. With state funding continuing to be questionable, other sources of financial aid are also contingent upon application date. Southeastern’s priority funding consideration date is Dec.1, 2016.

The Financial Aid Office at Southeastern will be visiting area high schools assisting high school seniors and their families with completing the FAFSA.

“The FAFSA can seem very daunting with all the tax information needed on the FAFSA. However, the online application allows students and parents to import their tax information directly from the IRS,” said Flannery. As always, the FAFSA is free to apply

In addition to the FAFSA being available Oct. 1, the SIC Scholarship Application will also launch Oct. 1 with a due date of Feb. 28, 2017. New and continuing students are highly encouraged to complete the application. Southeastern awards over $600,000 in scholarships annually. To apply, visit

Students should contact their high school guidance counselor to find out if their high school is hosting a financial aid workshop or contact the Financial Aid Office at Southeastern to schedule an appointment to complete the FAFSA in October. The Financial Aid Office is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or call at 618-252-5400 ext. 4110.