Many Ascension Parish students are already filling out the vital application. Dutchtown High School is leading the race in FAFSA completion with more than 36 percent of applications complete already.

As students return to classrooms following the holiday break, many seniors will enter their final semester of high school. With graduation just around the corner, students should recognize the importance of student financial aid and take the application process seriously.

Most high school seniors in Louisiana are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

FAFSA is used to apply for most federal and state student aid programs. The application asks detailed questions about income and financial resources. Parents will need to provide their information, as well as if their children are dependent students. Children are considered dependent if they are under 24 years old, not married, have no dependents of their own, are not veterans, and were not orphans or wards of the court until age 19.

Many Ascension Parish students are already filling out the vital application. Dutchtown High School is leading the race in FAFSA completion with more than 36 percent of applications complete already. St. Amant is close behind at over 35 percent. East Ascension and Donaldsonville high schools trail behind at 22 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Students and parents will need to have their financial information on hand when completing the application. Social Security number, federal income tax returns, W-2s, and bank statements will all be necessary. Students will also need an FSA ID to sign in electronically, as well as an Alien Registration Number if they are not U.S. citizens.

Some students who complete the form will be required to verify their information. Students chosen for verification cannot receive their financial aid until they have completed the process. They should provide any information that is required as soon as they are contacted because putting it off could delay the process.

The college will contact students to let them know if their data is being verified. If students have decided not to attend a college that has asked for verification, they should let the school know so that it will stop requesting information.

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