FAFSA can be a headache, but here’s how the city plans to help

Birmingham Promise Woodfin FAFSA can be a headache, but here's how the city plans to help
Mayor Randall Woodfin is joined by Birmingham City Schools superintendent Lisa Herring, Birmingham students and representatives from Alabama Power, Regions Banks, Altec, Inc and United Way of Central Alabama. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now + taken pre-COVID

That March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline is right around the corner. I miss school, but I definitely don’t miss filling out that form. Luckily, Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Promise, Inc. are stepping in to lend families a helping hand. Here’s how.

Mark your calendars for March 1

estee-janssens-calendar photo from unsplash
Mark those calendars, Birmingham! Photo via Estee Jansssens on Unspalsh.

First things first—mark those calendars for Monday, March 1, 2021. That’s the deadline to turn in your FAFSA form as well as apply for the Birmingham Promise program for the Fall 2021 school year.

Birmingham Promise is a program for students of Birmingham City Schools. It helps make college more affordable and accessible to local students. After all, education is so important, but the price tag can often be an obstacle.

“I understand that the pandemic has limited the flow of information for many students and parents, but it’s important to know that aid and assistance is available. We cannot let the circumstances of the pandemic dim the bright futures our students deserve.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin

The program gives local high school graduates the chance to have college costs covered at a two-year or four-year Alabama public school.

Here’s what you need

Birmingham, 2018 NextGen Pitch Competition, NextGen Birmingham, NextGen Bham, NextGen, Huffman High School, Jarvis Prewitt, Kamil Goodman
“Don’t let the pandemic dim the bright futures our students deserve.” Photo via Birmingham City Schools + taken pre-COVID

To complete a FAFSA form, make sure your student has the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number if not a US citizen
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2’s and other records of money earned
  • Bank statements and record of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • FSA ID

Birmingham Promise Executive Director Rachel Harmon encourages families and individuals to tune into virtual FAFSA learning sessions taking place throughout the month.

You can sign up for a virtual session by calling 205.843.5967.

Just a little step-by-step refresher

  1. Fill out your Birmingham Promise application by March 1, 2021.
  2. Complete and submit your 2021-2022 FAFSA by March 1, 2021.
  3. Submit your Student Aid Report and unofficial high school transcript to Birmingham Promise by March 1, 2021.
  4. Complete your college admissions and financial aid requirements by June 2021.
  5. Upload your college acceptance and financial aid offer letter to the Birmingham Promise portal by June 1, 2021.

To learn more, check out Birmingham Promise’s official website.

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Chaise Sanders
Chaise Sanders
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