The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form created by the U.S. Department of Education that is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid to attend college. It is required by most colleges and universities in the United States as part of their admissions process. In this glossary entry, we will delve into the details of FAFSA and how it works.
History of FAFSA
FAFSA was first introduced in 1965 as part of the Higher Education Act. Since then, it has become an essential tool for students seeking financial aid to attend college. Over the years, FAFSA has undergone several changes and updates to make the process of applying for financial aid more accessible and efficient.
Purpose of FAFSA
FAFSA serves as a tool for colleges and universities to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Financial aid can come in many forms, such as grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. The information provided in the FAFSA form is used to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount of money the student and their family are expected to contribute towards their education.
Filling out the FAFSA form
Filling out the FAFSA form can seem daunting, but it is a necessary step in the college admissions process. The form can be completed online at the Federal Student Aid website. The form requires information about the student’s and their family’s income, assets, and other financial information. The FAFSA form is free, and it is recommended that students fill it out as soon as possible after October 1st of the year before they plan to attend college.
Types of financial aid
There are several types of financial aid that a student may be eligible for after completing the FAFSA form. Here are some of the most common types of financial aid:
- Grants: Grants are money given to students based on financial need, and they do not have to be repaid.
- Scholarships: Scholarships are money given to students based on merit, need, or other criteria. They do not have to be repaid.
- Work-study: Work-study programs allow students to work part-time while attending college to help cover the cost of tuition and living expenses.
- Loans: Loans are money borrowed from the government or private lenders that must be repaid with interest.
FAFSA is an essential tool for students seeking financial aid to attend college. By filling out the form, students can determine their eligibility for various types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. While the process of filling out the form may seem overwhelming, it is crucial to complete it as soon as possible to maximize the amount of financial aid a student may receive.