Financial AidThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid = FAFSA
What is the FAFSA?
To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, loans, and work-study, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.
In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
How do I apply for finacial aid?
By completing and submitting a FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for federal student aid. In addition, your state and college may use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for nonfederal aid.
Completing the FAFSA is an easy process, and it's completely free. We recommend that you submit your FAFSA online using FAFSA on the Web, as your application will process within 3-5 days; alternatively, you can submit a paper FAFSA, which processes within 7-10 days.
A helpful tool is 7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA.
You can also get step by step explanation by checking out 6 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA.
Why should I complete the FAFSA?
Completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important thing you can do to get assistance paying for college. The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine students' eligibility for federal student aid. Every year, the federal government awards about $150 billion in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and work-study funds to help millions of students pay for college. Many state governments and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for nonfederal aid.
Unfortunately, some students feel like they shouldn't bother filling out a FAFSA because of some common myths. See 7 Common Myths about the FAFSA.