Federal Aid Craze

Students and families attend annual FAFSA Frenzy


Tristan Keith carefully enters his information for the FAFSA Application

Aaron Melville, Copy Editor

On Oct. 1 every year, the application for Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) opens for students to fill out and submit to schools of their choice.  Battle High School started participating in a statewide after-school program in mid-October every year for students to receive assistance when filling out the FAFSA. They call this the “FAFSA Frenzy,” and there are guidance counselors and volunteers helping students and their parents fill out the FAFSA. 

“We want students to be able to access as much aid as possible, and that begins with completing the FAFSA,”  Leigh Spence, Director of Counseling, said. 

Filling out the FAFSA allows students to receive federal grant aid to help them pay for college. Not only does it give information to the school about how much a student might need, but it also allows students to qualify for loans in the future. However, because the FAFSA requires information like taxes, and other materials, some parents may struggle completing the form on their own. Spence said the FAFSA Frenzy allows parents to get the help they need.  

“The reason is to provide support for families who may have questions and to provide access to professionals who can answer those questions,” Spence said. 

Tristan Keith, a senior who plans to attend Missouri S&T to major in computer sciences, attended the event. 

“It was a very stressful yet helpful experience, but it was the main reason I got my FAFSA done,”  Keith said when commenting on his FAFSA application. 

Keith, a first generation college student, stressed the importance of FAFSA Frenzy and getting assistance if needed. 

“The FAFSA can be very confusing,” said Keith regarding the application. 

Parents are also a focus during this, as they are usually helping their students financially. It is recommended that they also fill out FAFSA, even though the whole process may be difficult to do without guidance. 

Angela Johnson, mother of Keith, agrees with him on this. “It was really helpful for figuring out how to fill it out,”  Johnson said. 

Even though Johnson and Keith filled out most of their applications at home, “I really did need help on some stuff, and that’s where the FAFSA Frenzy came in hand,” Johnson said, speaking about her struggles with filling out the application. 

FAFSA will be available to fill out until Feb. 1, and most schools recommend students and families fill it out as early as they can.