FAFSA Overview

FAFSA Overview

August 23, 2019 26 By Stanley Isaacs


If you’re interested in
financial aid for college or career school, you’re going to need to fill out
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. It takes most people about
30 minutes to complete online and the best part,
it’s 100% free. And, it provides you with
access to grants, loans, and work-study funds
from the federal government. And many colleges and states
use FAFSA information to provide their own college or state
financial aid. Before you fill out the FAFSA,
it’s a good idea to create your FSA ID – a username and password
that lets you electronically sign your FAFSA and gives you
access to various websites related to federal student aid. And here’s an important tip: If your parent is providing
information on your FAFSA, he or she will need his
or her own FSA ID. Visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid
for more information. Your FAFSA can be completed
online at fafsa.gov, and help is provided throughout the online
application process. You will need to fill out the
FAFSA each year you are in school because your
financial situation may change. Plus, you may be able to
automatically transfer your tax data from the IRS –
making the application even quicker to fill out. Each state and college or career
school sets its own deadline for the FAFSA so it’s best
to get it done early. Since some of the funds are
available on a first come, first served basis, you don’t
want to miss out. Now that you know about the
FAFSA, you might be asking, “Well, how much
money will I get?” Your college or career school
will do the math. And there’s a simple formula
that they use. First, the college takes your
cost of attendance, which is the total amount it will cost
you to go to that school. Your cost of attendance will
vary from school to school. Then, the college subtracts your
Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. Your EFC is based on
information provided in your FAFSA and will not change based
on the school you attend. However, the EFC is not
necessarily the amount of money you will have to pay. Basically, your cost of
attendance, minus your EFC, equals your financial need.
Your college uses your financial need and other information to
determine how much financial aid you can receive. See, pretty simple. If you have questions
or need more information, please visit
StudentAid.gov.