Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA

Free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) is an application form for college and university students willing to apply for financial aid, such as loans, grants and work-study. This application has to be filled annually either by the student or his/her parents. FAFSA contains a total of 102 questions corresponding to six sections. Every section corresponds to the respective field of information about a student’s academic record, personal and siblings’ information and financial condition. The primary objective of the questions asked in the FAFSA is to figure out the exact financial need and eligibility of the recipient of financial aid.
By entering the student’s responses to FAFSA questions into a standard formula, designed according to the Higher Education Act of 1965, student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated. This EFC is subtracted from the total cost of attending a school, giving the total estimate of financial aid need. A report is formulated, named as Student Aid Report (SAR) based on the information available on the FAFSA application. This report is then made available to the student and colleges he/she enlists in the application. Based on this report, colleges determine the percentage of financial aid, which they have to provide to the student.
Primarily, the fixed expenses, such as accommodation, college fee, boarding expenses and more, are paid from the financial aid granted to student, the remaining sum goes to him/her for personal expenses.

How to Apply for FAFSA

FAFSA forms are available in the online version as well as printed form. To avail online service, Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required. A PIN is issued to the student once he/she submits his/her name, date of birth, social security number and home address. An application form is issued by college counselor, to apply through printed version. A printed FAFSA application becomes available during 2nd week of October while online forms are uploaded as early as January 1. The last date of submission of applications is June 30.

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