Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
If you are looking for federal student aid, you need to complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Filling FAFSA is free and easy. By completing FAFSA, you can access one of the largest sources of financial aid for supporting your education in the US. FAFSA is used for calculating Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your financial need is calculated by subtracting your EFC from your total cost of attendance.
FAFSA data is used for determining your eligibility criteria by private and state financial aid providers. If you think you don’t need FAFSA because your parents have lots or your academic progress is not too good, then you are wrong. The fact is everyone needs FAFSA.
FAFSA Deadlines for different programs
|Federal student aid
||For the 2012–13 year, you can apply between Jan. 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.
State student aid
|You can find state deadlines at www.fafsa.gov or on the paper or PDF FAFSA.
| College or career school aid
|Check out school’s website or contact its financial aid office. School deadlines are usually early in the year (often in February or March).
|Other financial aid
|Some private programs and scholarships also require you to fill FAFSA. Some do not give you scholarships unless you are eligible for Federal Pell Grant—and you can’t find out whether you’re eligible for a Pell Grant unless you file a FAFSA. However, in such case, you have to file the FAFSA based on the deadline of your private scholarship which could be earlier than Federal Pell Grant
How to complete FAFSA
You can complete your FAFSA in any one of the following ways:
- Online (FAFSA on the Web) at www.fafsa.gov (recommended)
- PDF FAFSA (download file) at www.studentaid.ed.gov/PDFfafsa
- Paper FAFSA (request a copy by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID [1-800-433-3243])
What happens after completing your FAFSA
FAFSA data reaches your school and the financial aid office of your school uses the information to calculate your federal student aid that you may receive from the school. You can check your FAFSA status online after 7-10 days of submission .
You will also receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) within three days to three weeks after submission. However, SAR will not tell you how much financial aid you will receive. The financial aid office at your college or career school will give you details on how and when your aid will be paid out. They also will tell you whether you need to fill out any more paperwork or meet other requirements.