The very first step for students and families to take when applying for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The FAFSA is needed when applying for grants, scholarships and other forms of financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education began accepting FAFSA submissions on Friday, Oct. 1.

Completing the FAFSA should be on top of everyone’s list when applying for college financial aid. I strongly encourage students and parents not to wait to complete this free application. Missing the March 1, 2022, deadline could result in missing out on critical dollars that could help pay for college. Please do not delay and submit your application sooner rather than later.

Academic Year 2022-23 FAFSA submissions received at the federal processor on or before March 1, 2022, are given priority consideration for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and Michigan Tuition Grant. Students who wait to complete their FAFSA after the March 1 deadline may not receive all the financial aid they could have been entitled to receive.

Prior to completing the FAFSA online, the student and at least one parent or guardian must obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at This ID serves as a legal signature and confirms an applicant’s identity when accessing financial aid information through certain U.S. Department of Education websites.

To get started with the FAFSA, go to To learn more about State of Michigan scholarships and grant programs, visit the MI Student Aid website at

Administered by Treasury, MI Student Aid is Michigan’s go-to resource for finding the financial resources needed to pay for college. For more information, contact MI Student Aid at 1-888-447-2687 or @mistudentaid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

—Robin Lott, executive director of Treasury’s Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning