What is FAFSA and why is it important?

Looking for financial assistance to sponsor your education? Well, the answer to your problems is here. You can get free money for college which you don’t have to repay back. Discover the FAFSA meaning, deadline, eligibility, scholarships, and more.

Posted by Prasanth P on 12th February 2019

What is FAFSA?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA is an application form which is used for applying for financial aid for college students. It is used by the federal government and various organizations to provide financial assistance to the college students or students of career schools.

It is governed by the US Department of Education. It is an important factor in deciding what sort of financial assistance would you need.

  • You will need to fill the form with your parents if you’re a dependent student.

  • Parent’s input is not required if you’re a student.

  • Spouse’s information would be needed if you’re married.

Your background or field of study doesn't affect the aid. However, income is taken into consideration. You can find the various scholarships available from various universities across the U.S.A form our Scholarships section.


 Why should you fill the form?

It is a free application form provided to the students. Several institutions and states can determine which financial aid you are qualified for on the basis of the information you provide in the application.

You can get federal grants and scholarships. It provides governmental aids. It makes the process of getting financial aid easy.

Who should apply for FAFSA?

  • The ones with a high school diploma or GED certificate.

  • Those who are looking for funds for education.


FAFSA Eligibility and Requirements

  • You should be a US citizen or an eligible resident of the United States or have a Green Card.

  • Must have a High School diploma or GED certificate, or should have completed homeschooling.

  • If you don’t have either of the three, you can still be eligible for the aid if u were admitted in college before 1st July 2012.

  • Enrolled in an eligible program, certificate or degree, and attend it as a regular student.

  • Have decent academic progress.

  • The social security number is needed unless from the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

  • Must not have a criminal record.

  • You must not owe the refund on grant or loan.

  • You should register with the Selective Service System if you’re not in the Army and are a male. (ages 18 - 25).


FAFSA Deadline 2019

The FAFSA application can be filled on or after 1st October 2019 till June 30th, 2020. It is applicable for the school year of 2019-2020.

Which FAFSA form should you fill?

You should file the 2019-2020 FAFSA if you’re applying for the financial aid in the school year of 2019-2020, or in simple terms if you’re starting school in 2019.

You can contact your institution’s financial aid office for more information.


Documents needed for FAFSA

Here are the documents that you might need in order to apply for FAFSA

FSA ID

FSA ID is the user ID and password that is used to login to various U.S department of education websites. You mandatorily need FSA ID to complete FAFSA form.

Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S citizen)

Alien Registration Number is the unique 8 or 9 digit number that is assigned to non-citizen of the United States. You have to submit this information if you’re not from the United States of America.

Social Security Number

You have to submit your Social Security Number which can be found on your social security card. If you don't have one, apply for it from the Social Security Administration.

Bank statements and records of investments if applicable.


What is FAFSA EFC number?

EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is a measure of your family’s financial position and is calculated with the formulas established by the law. The EFC is the number used by the university to calculate the financial aid that you’re eligible to receive.


Did You Know?

FAFSA is the only form required at almost all the universities that accept and award federal aid.


How does FAFSA Work?

FAFSA is the form that determines the financial position of your family by calculating EFC and decide what financial aid has to be paid to you. With the following, you’ll understand how the FAFSA works.

Step 1 - The first and primary step is that you have to fill up the FAFSA form even if you think or do not think that you would qualify for financial aid. The university uses the information provided by you in the FAFSA to estimate your eligibility for grants, loans, and scholarships.

Step 2 - The Department of Education sends the SAR report which summarizes your information on FAFSA and estimates EFC.

Step 3 - The university or a college will receive another report on the grant, scholarships, and loans that you’re eligible for.

Step 4 - When applying for the scholarships, loans, or grants, a student has to do the required research and then apply them.


Financial aid you can expect after applying for FAFSA?

Are you done applying for FAFSA? Then you can expect the following financial aids to further your education.

Financial Aid from U.S Federal Government

The Federal Government of the USA offers numerous financial aid programs. Apart aid from the Department of Education, you can also get the following

  • Financial aid for serving the military or being a child of a veteran.

  • Tax benefits for education

  • Scholarships and loans repayment through the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • There are 3 types of federal student aid. Grants, Work-study, and Loans.


Did you know?

The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $120 billion a year in all types of grants.


Financial Aid from State Government

If you’re not eligible for the aid from the federal government? Don’t worry, you might be eligible for the financial aid provided by your state.

 

Financial Aid from your university

You can get the financial assistance and aid by the university from their own funds. Contact the financial aid department of your college to know more about the financial assistance provided by them.


What is FAFSA Verification?

FAFSA Verification is generally the process that is used to cross-check or confirm the information provided in the FAFSA form is accurate and is real. You may be selected for the verification by the Department of Education, the California Student Aid Commission, or by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.


Conclusion

The FAFSA process will help get the financial support that is needed and committed to helping by providing the resources that you might need to further your education. The Federal Government and the university is working hard in guiding a student and help them achieve their goals. You can find more information about relating to the financial aid in the FAFSA website.