Filing the FAFSA application

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid  is the primary paperwork completed by all eligible students interested in receiving financial aid regardless of their postsecondary school of choice. The Expected Family Contribution calculated from the FAFSA determines a student’s eligibility for institutional, state or federal funds.

Some funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to apply as soon as possible. For BC, there are specific dates when students should apply for financial aid.

The deadlines for students who are applying to financial aid depend on the quarter the students plan to start in. For example, students who plan to begin in summer 2015 must finish their financial aid by March 13, 2015. Students can find more information about deadlines on the BC website.

Financial aid applications are different for every school and some institutions will require additional information on top of the FAFSA.

BC Financial Aid Director Melanie Ruiz emphasizes, “it is very important for students to check with the financial aid office at any school they may be considering.” At Bellevue College, students must complete the FAFSA or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid and also an institutional form, the BC Financial Aid Application. Both forms are available available online at

The FAFSA can be submitted online by using a PDF or by mailing in a paper form. The FAFSA application requires various information to determine the EFC for each applicant. For example, FAFSA applicants need to have information about their parents’ income, individual student income and assets and documents that provide independent or dependent status. Other necessary information includes name, social security number, citizenship status, marital status, state and date of legal residence, highest level of school completed by parents and grade level.

Aid eligibility varies on the student’s dependency on one’s parents. In Washington, students under the age of 25 are still considered dependent. However, some special cases such as wards of the state, will grant an independent status. However, students under the age of 25 can take certain steps to be considered financially independent. Students can email for more information.

BC student Fardousa Salad advises, “Get it in on time. Don’t delay it or procrastinate.” The earlier you turn in the aplication, the more more money is typically available.” “Check your email constantly,” Salad advised, “They email you if they need anything else and if you don’t do it they can’t approve you.” Another student, Maryam Ali, said, “it is very important to get a second pair of eyes in order to ensure it is correctly completed.”

“The Financial Aid Office staff is here to assist you,” stated Ruiz. “The Financial Aid office has individual appointments available every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call our office at 425-564-2227 or visit for an appointment.”