CHARLESTON — Students applying for state-level scholarships, such as the PROMISE Scholarship, must complete their application forms and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Thursday, March 1. To assist families in meeting that deadline, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Financial Aid in Charleston will offer extended office hours by appointment.
“It’s a two-step process,” said Brian Weingart, the Commission’s Senior Director of Financial Aid. “Students must complete the scholarship application forms available at the state’s college-planning website, www.cfwv.com, and submit the FAFSA to the federal government.”
Students seeking one-on-one assistance can call the Commission’s free financial aid hotline at 1-888-825-5707 to ask questions or set up an appointment with a financial aid counselor. Appointments are available Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Weingart encouraged students to submit their FAFSA online through the United States Department of Education, but said they should watch out for fake FAFSA websites that try to charge students to file the form. Weingart said, “Submitting the FAFSA should always be free. There are some third-party websites that look like the real thing, but try to charge a fee. Students should always double check the website address to make sure they are using the real site.”
To submit the FAFSA, students should visit www.fafsa.ed.gov. To learn more about state-level financial aid programs and complete scholarship application forms, students should visit the state’s free college-planning web portal, located atwww.cfwv.com. Students have until Monday, April 16 to apply for need-based state-level grant programs, such as the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program. While there is no deadline to file the FAFSA to receive federal financial aid, students should check with their respective institutions, which may have a priority deadline for filing the FAFSA.