Attention Class of 2017! If you plan on attending college next Fall, filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step towards the future. In this article, we’ll examine what the FAFSA is, why applying is worthwhile, and how to apply for it.
To begin, FAFSA is the easiest way for individuals to acquire financial aid at a federal level. After filing the FAFSA, an individual can be awarded any amount of grants, loans, or work-study programs. This money can assist in covering book fees, room and board fees, or any other type of college cost. However, do not think that everything the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office gives is simply “free money”. Whereas grants/scholarships may be considered “free money,” loans must be paid back with interest, and work-study programs have an individual work at a part-time job within their field of study in order to earn money and pay off expenses.
Hesitant about filing the FAFSA? The FSA understands! But even if a student’s household makes “too much money”, they may be eligible for a number of grants or loans. If students believe that their grades aren’t high enough, the beauty of the FAFSA is that it is based on financial need, not academic merit. Anyone and everyone can apply for the FAFSA. Additionally, and most importantly, many colleges require that prospective students file the FAFSA so that the schools can calculate additional need for the student. By not filing the FAFSA, students may not receive any amount of substantial aid, and college applications may be halted in their review processes.
Filing the FAFSA is much easier than it may seem. However, before anyone can begin, they should create an FSA ID. This ID will streamline the process of filing FAFSA and makes it easier to complete. Additionally, a parent or guardian should make one as well. In order to make an FSA ID, head to the official FAFSA website! If there any questions about what’s necessary to have when filing for FAFSA, or how to operate the website, talk to a counselor!
The FAFSA opened on October 1st, so seniors - don’t delay in filing it today!