The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the only way to apply for federal student aid. The schools you list on your application will use FAFSA information to evaluate your financial need and determine how much federal, state, and institutional aid you are eligible to receive. It is best to fill it out as early as you can because some aid is first come, first served.
When you complete the FAFSA, you will need to provide personal and tax information. You may be able to automatically retrieve your tax information from the IRS. After you submit your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR summarizes the information in your FAFSA. Review it and make corrections if needed.
The FAFSA is a free form. Do not pay for help with the FAFSA. FREE help is available!
Qualifications and Deadlines
To qualify for federal (and many other types of) aid, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Demonstrate financial need
- Be accepted or enrolled in an eligible degree program
- Attend school at least half-time
- Register with Selective Service, if required
- Fill out and sign the FAFSAOther criteria may apply as well depending on the type of aid you seek.