Applying for Financial Aid (the FAFSA) - What you need to do
If there is any chance you might need money for college you should apply for financial aid. It costs nothing to apply.
To apply for federal and state financial aid, you'll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You'll find it on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov and on paper, in both English and Spanish. In order to apply for the FAFSA, you should have an email address that is not connected to the school. All school email addresses are deleted after you graduate.
What Is the FAFSA?
FAFSA is an acronym that stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Colleges and universities use this form to determine students eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. Even though the FAFSA is technically the application for federal aid, many colleges also use the FAFSA to award their own grants and scholarships. The FAFSA asks for information about you, your family, your finances and your college plans. Filing online is the fastest way to file. The online FAFSA also automatically catches common errors before you finish the application. Students who are hoping for any government or school financial aid for college, should file a FAFSA.
How does the FAFSA determine students eligibility for financial aid? The FAFSA is used by the US Department of Education to calculate the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, for college. The EFC is a dollar amount that reflects how much your family can afford to pay for college for the following academic year. The lower your EFC, the more aid you're eligible to receive. Your EFC is determined based on income, assets, and other household information you'll be asked to provide on the FAFSA.