What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form students and their parents fill out to apply for federal student aid like student loans, grants, and work-study. The application asks for financial information that the federal government uses to determine your EFC, or Estimated Family Contribution. Your EFC is a key factor to determine if you are eligible for financial aid. Even if you don’t anticipate being eligible for federal aid, you should still fill it out, as it’s used to calculate state and institutional aid, including scholarships.
Why should you fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible?
The application for the following school year’s tuition becomes available on October 1. Each school you’re applying to could have a different deadline, so double-check to make sure you don’t miss any of them. Some aid is awarded “first come, first served,” so if you don’t get your application in early, you could miss out on money that could help pay for your education.