Free FAFSA: From Start to Finish

INA, Ill. (Oct. 14, 2020) — Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the most important steps in your college experience. There is serious money on the line for your education.

But the whole process can be a bit of a grind. It’s a lot of information. There are a lot of directions. And it is time-consuming.

That’s why Rend Lake College is here to help. Our financial aid staff will be available both in-person and virtually in the coming weeks to help make filling out the FAFSA a breeze. Any questions you have, we’re here to help walk you through the process from start to finish.

The application is a gateway to grants, loans, work-study funds and many other different kinds of financial aid. Don’t think you’ll qualify for any support? Think again. Every year students leave billions of dollars in funding on the table by not completing the FAFSA. And it’s now a requirement in Illinois. A new law dictates all students must fill out the FAFSA — or an alternative form — to receive their high school diploma.

What you will need

To fill out the FAFSA, and to have RLC staff assist you in the process, you will need the following:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.

For more information, and to get your FSA ID, visit

RLC High School visits (in-person)

High School nights are open ONLY to high school seniors. 

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Pinckneyville Community High School
  • 2-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 and Thursday, Oct. 22 at Mt. Vernon Township High School
  • 1-2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at Webber High School
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Benton High School
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at Benton High School

Virtual FAFSA Night

Can't make it in person? No problem! We are hosting a virtual FAFSA night from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. Get all the same assistance in an online environment. This is open to the general public. Drop-in at any time during the designated hours. 


For more information…

Visit Or contact the RLC Financial Aid office at (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1385 or [email protected].

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