FAFSA: More than just another government acronym


Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – For high school seniors, college means new surroundings, new friends, and a new world of freedom.

But for the people footing the bill…it’s one more financial burden for the expense sheet.

That’s why it’s such a shame that hundreds of thousands of dollars are left on the table, unclaimed, every single year.

All that unused money comes from FAFSA, which stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Officials say the form only takes about half an hour to finish—and point out that’s less time than it takes to catch up on your social media.

The nationwide program isn’t just for student loans, it’s also a step toward state aid, money for work study and grants to colleges.

Counselors at Wheeling Park say they help all their students with it—because it’s a burden they won’t have to carry for years or even decades.

We work really closely with our seniors especially, all of our students, but especially our seniors, because it is overwhelming. Senior year can be overwhelming, not realizing how much money college is, it’s kind of a reality check for them.

Jennifer Short, Head of Counseling Department, Wheeling Park High School

It’s available now for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters, but time is running out to finish it.

West Virginia University has set a March 1st priority deadline to receive the best aid possible.

You may need to go digging through your files first—You’ll need items like your social security card, your W2 forms and tax records to complete the form at FAFSA dot gov.

But a little bit of inconvenience now could make the difference between a debt-free future and monthly loan payments in your mailbox.

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