What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that incoming and current college students must complete in order to receive financial aid from the federal government. This financial aid helps cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and textbooks, and can come in the form of loans, grants, or both.

How much does it cost?

The FAFSA application is free to complete.

How long will it take to apply?

The application takes approximately one hour to complete. The website saves your progress, so you can complete the form in multiple sessions. You will need to save your login information in order to come back and continue working on the form.

What information do I need to complete the application?

You will need basic contact information for yourself and at least one parent, if applicable (independent students will be provided with other options for providing information).

You will also need your social security number. This is a required component of the application.

The form will also ask which schools you want to send your FAFSA information to. You can send your FAFSA to multiple colleges if desired. This does not mean that you must attend those colleges; it just means that they will receive your financial aid information.

How much money will I get?

The FAFSA calculates how much financial aid you can receive on an individual basis. Their decision is based on a variety of factors, including your family’s financial status, whether or not you participate in a work-study program, and more.

When should I complete it?

Students who plan to attend college the fall after they graduate high school should complete the FAFSA during the Fall semester of their senior year. The sooner you can apply, the better chance you have at receiving funding.

  • Federal Deadline: June 30, 2024
  • College Deadline: Each college has its own deadline. Check with your prospective college to find out the latest date they will accept your FAFSA application.

Do I have to fill it out every year?

Yes, prior to every year that you attend college, you must complete the form again. The funding that you receive will cover one academic year of college.

What kind of funding will I receive?

The FAFSA offers three forms of financial aid: grants, loans, and work-study.

GRANTS: Grants consist of money that typically does not have to be repaid by you, the student. The exception to this is if you withdraw from school early and owe a refund, or if you receive a TEACH Grant and do not complete the required years of teaching service upon graduation.

LOANS: Loans are a form of financial aid that are “loaned” or borrowed by the student in order to cover the costs of college. These loans must eventually be paid back to the federal government. The type of loan you receive will determine when you must begin repayment and when interest (an additional amount of money owed on top of the loan) will begin accruing, or collecting.

WORK-STUDY: If you qualify for work-study, you can work part-time in exchange for money from the federal government. The amount of money you receive depends upon when you apply, your level of financial need, and your college’s funding level.

What else should I know?

The FAFSA application has recently been redesigned to simplify the application and approval process.

How do I apply?

Go to studentaid.gov to begin your application.

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