This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS – This is the time of year to start the process of applying for loans for college.  The problem is people are not taking advantage of all the free money out there. 

Every year, millions of dollars in Indiana go unclaimed.  Some think the forms are difficult to fill out or they might not even be eligible, but for the most part, that’s not the case.  Right now colleges and universities say aid applications have launched, and they want students and parents to file aid applications sooner rather than later. 

“October 1st is when the new year aid application went live.  Right now for those who are going to get an education next year, the application is here.  It’s ready to go, so go in and file the FAFSA and put yourself in for the free money,” said Bill Wozniak, INvestEd’s vice president of Marketing. 

Bill Wozniak is from INvestEd.  They are a non profit which has helped thousands of Hoosiers fill out the financial aid forms for free.  They help people get grants, scholarships, and money which sometimes comes directly from the colleges themselves. But people are not taking advantage of that free money like they used to.  Applications are down here in Indiana and nationwide.

“We think part of it is the pandemic, and we think part of it is the disruption.  However the downward pattern was going on ahead of time.  We think some students and some families are perceiving maybe less value in education.  They are nervous about how complicated it is.  They often say the FAFSA is so difficult, and so that’s why we think the application filing is a little bit down,” said Wozniak.

That means more money is available.  It should also be noted that filling out the FAFSA form is easier than ever.  It can take just minutes.  And there’s a lot of help if needed to fill out the form at no cost.

“With all the things that INvestEd does year round, and then programs like College Goal Sunday which is November 7th this year, there is just no reason to ever not file the FAFSA in Indiana,” said Wozniak.

There is also more financial news regarding college loans people already got and are trying to pay off.  It’s the federal loan forgiveness program.  People are eligible, but now that also includes many who were deemed ineligible in the past.

“Maybe you missed one payment, maybe you were short a dollar on a payment, things like that.  And people in the past would have been excluded and now there’s a chance they might still be eligible,” said Wozniak.

To find out for your specific situation, call Invested at (317) 715-9007 or go to their website