When to complete the FAFSA for a summer semester?

D would like to do a summer study abroad next summer (2023). For this, she’d need to borrow some funds, as her current scholarship cannot be applied to summer semester courses. My questions…

When does she complete FAFSA? Should she be doing it when it opens in October or at any time prior to 6/30/23? It is unclear to me how summer semesters are treated (which academic year they fall under). Also, is she eligible to borrow the full yearly amount for a single summer semester, or are there limits? If there are limits, would it make more sense for her to fill out the form sooner rather than later?

Thanks in advance for any info.

She needs to ask her financial aid office which year the summer term will fall under. In addition, she needs to find out how the school handles summer aid. Summer aid policies vary by school. She will be limited by the school’s summer budget. She’ll probably need to complete a summer aid application & often it can take a while to process. She should file the FAFSA as soon as she can, just to be in the safe side. The school will have its own timeline for requesting summer loans.

An easier way might be to borrow before the end of her 2022-23 classes. As long as her scholarship doesn’t cover all of her cost of attendance, she would be eligible to borrow an unsubsidized loan. She can borrow in the spring before her classes end … but she needs to make sure to meet end-of-year deadlines set by the school.

If you have a lowish EFC but she gets aid to cover costs, she should talk to a financial aid officer about her best option. She might possibly be eligible for a subsidized loan in summer depending on how summer aid is done at the school.

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