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One question on the minds of many families is: "How much financial aid will we qualify for?"

Federal Aid Eligibility

Eligibility for financial aid begins with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). It's important to complete the FAFSA each year because colleges and universities use that information to determine eligibility for grants, scholarships, work-study awards and federal student loans.

The information you provide on your FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your eligibility for financial aid depends on your EFC as well as:

  • Your year in school
  • Your enrollment status
  • Your cost of attendance

If your EFC is less than the school's cost of attendance, you should qualify for financial aid. What happens if you don't qualify?

Financial Aid for Middle Income Families

There are programs specifically designed to help families who may not qualify for need-based aid, as well as strategies to help maximize what you may qualify for.

  • Apply to several schools, including some private schools on your FAFSA. Private schools may offer enough aid to make it as affordable as a public institution.
  • Submit your FAFSA as early as October 1. Some schools award funds on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Check to see if the colleges you are applying to offer aid to middle income families.

FAFSA is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Education and is not affiliated with Discover Student Loans.

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