2024-25 FAFSA Application is Now Available, Students Encouraged to Apply

Students and parents can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-25 post-secondary academic year. Recent changes to the federal financial aid system mean more students than ever may qualify for federal need-based aid. However, these changes have created some delays with this year’s FAFSA and the financial aid offers that come as a result. Colleges and universities will begin receiving FAFSA data for students at the end of March and will award financial aid in April and May.

As high school seniors plan for their future and navigate the college application process, the Our Dakota Dreams education partners encourage prospective students to remain diligent in completing the FAFSA despite the delayed nationwide roll-out. The FAFSA application is an essential step in pursuing higher education and is used to determine the amount of financial aid students are eligible to receive, which could include grants, scholarships, work-study funds, and loans. Completion of the FAFSA is also required for many South Dakota Scholarships, including the Freedom and Build Dakota scholarships.

Our Dakota Dreams partners encourage students who are applying for financial aid to:

  1. Stay Informed: Regularly check the FAFSA website and communication channels for updates. Being aware of any changes or announcements will help you plan accordingly.
  2. Explore Beyond the FAFSA: While waiting for FAFSA processing, explore other scholarship opportunities, grants, and local financial aid programs that may be available to you. The Our Dakota Dreams statewide scholarship bulletin board is a great place to start.
  3. Communicate with Colleges: If you have questions, contact the financial aid offices of the colleges you have applied to or your high school counselor. Our South Dakota institutions understand the current situation and may offer guidance.
  4. Maintain a Positive Outlook: Understand that you are not alone in facing these challenges. Many high school seniors across the nation are in a similar situation. Focus on what you can control, such as applying for scholarships, exploring potential majors, and concentrating on academics.
  5. Ask for Help: There are resources available to make this process easier! Contact Mapping Your Future, a non-profit organization committed to helping navigate the higher education application process.

Our Dakota Dreams is committed to supporting South Dakota students as they prepare for their future. Efforts encourage high school seniors to remain resilient, focus on their goals, and stay committed to their future education.