Honestly, one of the most stressful times of year in college is when you have to start filing your FAFSA. I remember it; my friends remember it; and many of us are still dealing with it. The first time I had to file a FAFSA was awful, but I made it through. If you're there right now, don't worry, these FAFSA application memes on Twitter are so accurate, you'll realize just how many people are feeling the same mind-numbing frustration.
If you're not aware of what FAFSA is, most likely you're going to need to know at some point if you're going to college. FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA application is a government program created to help students pay for their college education with loans. For anyone who has yet to experience the joys of FAFSA deadlines, I am sorry. Because, most likely, that means you'll have to deal with them in the future.
FAFSA filing for the 2020 through 2021 academic year recently opened on Oct. 1, and anyone dealing with it probably has similar reactions of dread. The thing that makes FAFSA so stressful is that particular states and schools have limited funding. So, that means if you don't file early, you may not get much at all. The good news is, there are plenty of people who understand the dilemma and the pressure to file your FAFSA as soon as it opens. Some of these students took to Twitter on Oct. 1 to express their frustration in one of the best ways — by posting memes.
1. When you forget your username and password
If you've ever forgotten your FAFSA login, you'll understand this meme's angst. TBH, I'm pretty sure I forgot my password every year. Which, of course, meant the process of changing or recovering the password. But, I couldn't change or recover the password until after I entered my social and DOB, or whatever else was need just to access the account. Plus, if I didn't finish the application in that same day, guess who forgot the password again? The frustration usually mounted from there.
2. When you own something "expensive," but you're still applying for FAFSA
You may have had that moment when you realize you own something a bit expensive and people are raising their eyebrows when you are applying for FAFSA. TBH, though, those AirPods were a gift from my aunt Becky. And my tax refund.
3. When your parents hate FAFSA deadlines as much as you
You might think this one is you IRL, though. Any of you ever had the experience of arguing with your parents over FAFSA applications because they don't have time to help you, or fill out their portion of the information? The good news is, after you've filed once, typically, FAFSA saves your info and you don't need to change too much the next time you need to file. But that isn't always the case. And usually, somehow, you have to involve your parents. Even if it's just them yelling at you for procrastinating on filing your FAFSA.
4. When your parents make a bit too much money, according to FAFSA
The frustration can be so real. I can't tell you how many of my friends have applied for FAFSA and gotten a small amount or #denied because of their parents' income level. Oh, FAFSA, you can be such a struggle.
5. When literally everyone is telling you to file your FAFSA as soon as the filing period opens
Yeah, I remember those times when I was dragging my feet to fill out my FAFSA and my friends were getting on me about it, trying to convince me I needed to do it that same day. But you know what, they were right. It's just so easy to procrastinate.
6. When you receive your FAFSA info back and your TAP award is depressingly low
It happens. TAP — Tuition Assistance Program — is a thing for New York students. It's the same thing as getting an education grant from another state, so you don't have to pay it back. I think most have gotten their grant money notice and have been a bit shocked at the low amount. Good thing it's a grant, I can't afford to pay back five bucks.
7. When FAFSA reminds you that you don't got no boo
Thanks, FAFSA. I didn't know it was Singles' Awareness Day.
8. When you're trying to get FAFSA for grad school and feel too old for this ish
That was me not too long ago. Not only does it make you feel old, but the numbers just get bleaker and bleaker.
9. When you realize you're graduating, so you are going to escape FAFSA
It's definitely a nice feeling.
10. When you've been out of school for a while and student loan payments steal your joy
Yeah — that's when you wish you were back in school, filing for FAFSA, not paying on loans.
11. When you can totally compare FAFSA filing to an intense basketball game
I totally get that victory feeling of filing before March 1.
12. When you realize you may never repay your student loans, despite your FAFSA
It's nice knowing you loans, cause I guess we may be friends for quite some time.
Real talk, though, since the FAFSA application filing period is now open, you may want to get on that if you're planning on attending college in fall 2020. The federal deadline to send in your FAFSA is June 30, 2021, but trust me, you don't want to wait that long. Many states have separate deadlines that are much, much earlier if you want to get a state-specific grant.
Being without aid can be worse than the application struggles. And, in an attempt to — maybe? — make it a bit easier on students, there is an app for iOS and Android called myStudentAid where you can fill out your application on your phone, but you may still need to go online to do a portion of the filing. If you're super lost, the U.S. Department of Education offers email assistance, a live chat, and a phone line.
If you start getting over it and need a break, just take a minute to scroll through these relatable FAFSA application memes and you'll feel a lot better knowing you definitely aren't alone. Trust me, someone out there feels the same way — in fact, probably the entire population of college students filing for FAFSA.