The Importance of the FAFSA®
To qualify for student aid in the United States, you must complete the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal student aid, including low-cost loans, grants, and work-study. The FAFSA may also determine your eligibility for state and school aid as well.
Anyone who plans to attend college should submit the FAFSA.
Many students believe they are not eligible for student aid and do not submit a FAFSA. This is a mistake. Here are some reasons why:
- The FAFSA is free and costs nothing to complete.
- The FAFSA is necessary for most forms of student aid.
- If your family's financial circumstances suddenly change, you'll already have a FAFSA on file.
- Nearly everyone who applies receives student aid of some sort, regardless of their credit history.
Apply for a PIN (personal identification number) from the U.S. Department of Education.
Complete the FAFSA.
You must submit a FAFSA for each school year that you would like to receive student aid. Submit your FAFSA as soon as you can after January 1… the earlier you apply, the more sources of aid may be available.