What is FAFSA?
Students use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) www.fafsa.gov to apply for financial aid. FAFSA is the gateway to most university and college financial aid in the United States. Although the FAFSA name indicates it is for federal aid, it is also used to award most state and school aid.
Why complete the FAFSA Form?
Even if a student is not sure if he/she would qualify for grants or work-study, the FAFSA is required in order to receive federal loans that are available to almost all students regardless of their financial situation. It is also required by most schools to receive scholarships that may or may not have a financial-need requirement.
How to apply:
Fill out the FAFSA, online or in print, to have access to financial aid to help pay for college. The simplified online application is available at www.fafsa.gov. If you do not want to use FAFSA on the Web, you can obtain a paper version FAFSA by calling 1-800-4FEDAID.
Estimated vs. Actual:
Although the FAFSA requests “actual” tax information, estimates are acceptable and may be used to meet the priority deadline. Many times, tax information for the previous year is unavailable until after the priority deadline. It is ok to estimate your tax information, If an applicant’s tax forms are not complete it is better to estimate and make changes later rather than delay submitting the FAFSA form.
Additional Resources about FAFSA: Federal Guide to Financial Aid