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The FAFSA is Here!
The 2023-24 FAFSA is here! Here are a few tips you can share with your students.
This year students can access the FAFSA by visiting StudentAid.gov. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after Oct. 1 to ensure priority consideration for some types of financial aid. It’s best to gather all necessary materials before starting the FAFSA. Since the 2023-24 FAFSA allows applicants to use 2021 tax information, families can use their 2021 return to complete the application right away! There's no need to wait.
To complete and submit the FAFSA online, students and one of their parents/guardians will each need to create an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) at StudentAid.gov . This username/password serves as an electronic signature on the FAFSA and certain student loan applications, and allows them to access other federal student aid websites. It’s beneficial for families to create their FSA IDs before starting the FAFSA to speed up the application process. Visit UCanGo2.org to download an FSA ID Worksheet (in English and Spanish) to keep track of your information.
For more information and FAFSA resources, including educational tools and tutorial videos in English and Spanish, visit StartWithFAFSA.org.
COVID-19: Financial Aid and Student Loan Updates
If you’re looking for free up-to-the-minute guidance on federal student loans and financial aid during the Coronavirus pandemic, visit https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/covid-19. For additional information, visit StudentAidPandemic.org.
Ready Set Repay, the default prevention initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), strives to help student loan borrowers make smart borrowing decisions and successfully repay their student loans. We receive a lot of questions about paying for school and repaying student loans, so we've developed and updated videos answering some of our most frequently asked questions:
- I'm in School and Need Money to Pay for It, What Now?
- I've Missed Some Student Loan Payments, Can I Get Back on Track?
These short videos outline specific steps to address these common issues. The videos are available on OCAP’s YouTube Channel and on the Videos page at ReadySetRepay.org. Feel free to share these videos or link to them from your website.
Ready Set Repay Offers Video: Student Loan Repayment Plan Options
Ready Set Repay, the default prevention initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), strives to help student loan borrowers make smart borrowing decisions and successfully repay their student loans. There are several different student loan repayment options for borrowers to consider, so we created Student Loan Repayment Plan Options, a short video that explains the eight different repayment options available.
Ready Set Repay, the default prevention initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), is pleased to share our latest tool for financial aid partners: our new Interest Capitalization poster!
As part of OCAP’s continuing mission to help you teach students across the state how to make smart borrowing decisions and successfully repay their student loans, we are constantly developing new educational materials. Our latest poster focuses on the long-term benefits to students of making interest payments toward student loans while still in college.
The unauthorized use of instutional logos, seals, names and other trademarks is a growing trend. Often, third party companies using such trademarks without authorization target student loan borrowers for payment for services that would otherwise be free. The Department of Education (ED) recently issued two cease and desist letters to third-party "debt-relief" companies that were using ED's official seal without authorization.
As a borrower, it's important to be aware that the following federal student loan services are free, and you should never pay a third-party company to assist you with these services:
- Consolidating federal student loans
- Changing repayment plans
- Resolving defaults
- Filing requests for borrower defense loan cancellation
Some third-party companies also target colleges and universities, claiming to offer special benefits for borrowers through the school. All postsecondary institutions are encouraged to:
- Provide warnings to students, including on institutional websites, about so-called debt relief companies.
- Provide information to students indicating that they do not need to pay for loan benefits for Federal student loans.
- Review institutional websites to ensure that they provide the most up-to-date information about the terms and conditions of federal student loans and the servicing of those loans. In reviewing several institutions websites, ED became aware that some sites contain outdated information about the Direct Loan Servicing Center and had directed students to call a number that is no longer associated with ED.
To learn more, read ED's electronic announcement, Third-Party Debt Relief Companies’ Use of Institutional Names, Logos and Other Trademarks.
In these challenging economic times, you may see loan forgiveness as a potential solution for your student loan debt woes. However, it’s important to understand that forgiveness of all or part of your student loan is rare and happens under very specific circumstances. Click here for a PDF with helpful information about loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
Throughout your higher education journey, you’ll have many decisions to make concerning student loans. Whether you’re deciding if you need to borrow student loans, how much to borrow or which repayment plan to choose, it's important you're equipped with timely information every step of the way.
As a borrower, understanding basic student loan terminology is invaluable. With that in mind, Ready Set Repay has created an electronic flyer defining 20 basic student loan terms used by the U.S. Department of Education.