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What is FAFSA?

As the school year continues, seniors continue their work on college applications and research into scholarships. However, some seniors may not know about an additional resource they have access to. This resource is FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

FAFSA is a form that can be filled out physically or online, and it allows students to earn federal assistance with paying for college. By putting down financial information about themselves and their family (things like income, readily available money, etc.), applicants can receive a number they will not pay more than for college tuition. The government covers the rest in a couple of ways, usually grants, loans, and work-study programs.

FAFSA exists as a part of Title IV of the 1965 Higher Education Act, which was created with the intention of helping low-income students still be able to achieve higher education. The act specifically sets up a Federal Pell Grant, as well as other grants and programs to provide further assistance as necessary.

Since FAFSA is free to fill out, it is highly recommended that everyone complete the form, as there is no real reason not to do so. This year’s final deadline for submitting the FAFSA form is June 2020, but by filling out the form earlier in the year students may receive up to twice as much federal aid.