We continuously stress the importance of a college degree but for many acquiring one is just not that easy. College is expensive and the costs increase year by year. Part -time jobs can help to alleviate some of the expenses associated with college, but not all. So if you wish to access federal grants, loans or scholarships to fund your education, a FAFSA application is compulsory.

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA is the acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a financial aid provided by the federal government to students who want to pursue higher education– but are unable to fund their tuition and other associated fees.  In order to become a beneficiary you must complete the online application and fit the criteria; the earlier you apply the better! You must ensure that all the information on the form is correct to enable smooth processing of your application which takes about 7-10 days.

Do you qualify for the Fеdеrаl Student Aid?

All students who are pursuing programs that offer certification, credits or degrees are eligible to apply for the Frее Application for Fеdеrаl Student Aid. To meet the basic eligibility requirements you must have a Social Security number if you are a U.S Citizen or a green card if you are a non-citizen. If you have been granted political asylum or you are a citizen of the Pacific Islands such as Marshall Islands, Samoa, or the Federal States of Micronesia you are also eligible.

The amount you receive is calculated based on your financial need. The cost of text books, on-campus accommodation, tuition and other things are all factored into your qualifications. FAFSA also takes into account how much your family contributes to your college education. This is assessed by a board called the Exресtеd Fаmіlу Cоntrіbutіоn. After this comprehensive evaluation is completed it will then be decided whether or not you receive aid, and how much you’ll receive if you do.

Consequently, the method in which the money in facilitated (loan, grant, scholarship etc.) is decided by the school management. They can also choose to grant you additional aid that exceeds the calculated amount of your needs.

The Importance of FAFSA

Whether it’s the Pell Grants, Perkins loans, Stafford loans, work- study jobs, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or any others you won’t be able to qualify without applying through FAFSA.

However, the good news is that all applications are carefully vetted by professionals who are then able to determine the need of each applicant, and allocate funds accordingly.  The monies are not given directly to the students, but are disbursed to the institution. The only exception is for work- study students who either receive a check or direct deposit to their student accounts.

Once the funds are received by the school they will notify you of this. Nevertheless, if you qualify for extra funds outside of the amount allocated for your tuition, the extra is paid to you by the institution to be used for school-related expenses.