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Your Starting Point: The FAFSA

It’s a mouthful, but important. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an online form required by U.S. colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid.

Every student and family should complete a FAFSA.

Even if you assume your family won’t get any “free money,” in the form of scholarships or grants, you must complete a FAFSA in order to apply for a Federal Student Loan. Many schools also require the FAFSA to be completed before the can offer their own award package.

There's no income cutoff to qualify for federal student aid. So apply! Your eligibility will be determined by a mathematical formula, not by your parents' income or your savings alone.


Q: Why do I have to do a FAFSA? 

A: The FAFSA is how you apply for loans and grants from your federal and state governments. Most schools require you to fill out the FAFSA to ensure you receive all of the academic and other scholarships you are eligible for, as well.

Q: What’s the deadline?

A: You can complete a FAFSA anytime. However, some funds are available first-come, first-served (for example federal work-study programs), so you’ll want to fill yours out asap. Each college or university has a FAFSA priority deadline. Research your perspective college or university online or check with the financial aid office to see the school's priority FAFSA deadline. The FAFSA for the 2018-2019 Academic year can be submitted as early as October 1, 2017. Use your or your family’s income from the 2016 calendar year. 

Check out this article to learn more.


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