Each year, over 13 million students who file for the FAFSA get more than $120 billion in grants, work-study, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education. Many states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine which students get financial aid—and how much they’ll get. Here we highlight who should apply for FAFSA and how to apply.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form you need to fill out to get any need-based financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college. Submitting it is your key to accessing grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and federal student loans. The FAFSA asks for information about you and your family’s financial status and has to be filled out each year you are in college.
Need-based financial aid is based on your family's financial needs. You'll receive this type of financial aid if you demonstrate the need. When you complete the required financial aid forms (FAFSA and/or CSS Profile), your family's ability to cover college costs is determined, and the result is called the "family contribution.” The "family contribution" is subtracted from your school's fees; the final figure is your demonstrated need. The most familiar type of need-based aid is a grant, but need-based aid can also come from a campus work-study job or a subsidized student loan.
The FAFSA is available to all US citizens and permanent residents applying to US universities. Besides that, anyone applying for work-study, other merit-based scholarships, and low-interest loans should also apply for the FAFSA.
You can submit the FAFSA application online, through the StudentAid app, or by mailing the forms.
To submit the online application, you will follow these steps:
You can file as early as October 1 for the following academic year. It’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible because financial aid is often given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are three types of FAFSA deadlines:
In addition to government-funded financial aid, many colleges offer private financial aid programs. Utilizing both government and private funding, the following colleges offer the most financial aid:
Can I afford to study in the US?
Crimson offers scholarship and FAFSA support to our students. Our dedicated team of financial aid advisors and experts understand the process of financial assistance, can help you with your applications, and answer any questions you may have about financial aid. Our lead advisors sat down with us to answer some of the most common financial aid questions. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
We offer three distinct services to Crimson families:
Don't let finances limit your college dreams. Take advantage of financial help from the state and federal government, colleges, private organizations, scholarships, and other independent entities. By utilizing all financial aid options, you'll have more opportunities to study at a college that's perfect for you.
Learn how Crimson can help you secure financial support.
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