Nationally, two out of three undergraduate college students receive financial aid. College expenses can be daunting for ALL students, regardless of their family’s income. Financial aid is money provided to help students pay for their college costs. And to be eligible for most of that money, you need to fill out a FAFSA!
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that you and your parents fill out on-line so the government can see what money they can give you for college or technical school. Millions of families fill it out every year. It doesn't take long and is worth completing for everyone.
Four Basic Categories of Aid:
Grants are gifts of “free” money that do not have to be repaid and are provided to students to help pay for their education. Generally, grants are awarded on the student’s level of financial need, identified by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Loans for college costs are money that must be repaid. Loans represent a major source of assistance you should consider as you try to meet the full costs of your education.
Scholarships are gifts of “free” money that do not have to be repaid for students to help pay for their education.
Federal Work Study programs allow students to work and earn an hourly wage to use towards their college expenses. It is based on need and is part of the student's financial aid. It is a useful way to minimize how much a student borrows in loans.
What else should I know?
- Filing your FAFSA early increases your odds of getting financial aid that is limited in quantity - like the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
- Another reason to do your FAFSA during FAFSA Frenzy is that you can get help at any of the various campus-based help desks during February.
- All federal financial aid requires you file a FAFSA every year. No FAFSA, no aid.
- ACPE-administered state aid - including the Alaska Performance Scholarship and the Alaska Education Grant - requires that you submit a FAFSA to be eligible.
Find out how you can win free money!
Submit a 2013-14 FAFSA in February and be entered into a drawing for one of six VISA gift cards!