Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA is a free of cost student aid form that current and prospective students use to assess their eligibility for various student financial aid programs. The FAFSA report provides the applicant with an upnow()d picture of where they stand in terms of approvals for different financial support programs. FAFSA deals with 9 federal student aid programs and over 605 other, mainly private, student aid programs. The major loan products of FAFSA include:
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Pell Grant
- Stafford Loan
- PLUS Loan
- The Federal Work-Study Program
- Consolinow()d Loan Programs
- Private Student Loans
FAFSA not only provides you a report on your eligibility for student aid but also educates you on obtaining one. Each year, billions of dollars are disbursed to various student aid programs by this organization and they are also responsible for setting the terms and regulations on all of the major student financial aid programs.
What is the Application Procedure?
The FAFSA applications are accepted by the U.S. Department of Education starting on the 1st of January every year, for the upcoming year. You may apply for FAFSA online or in person. The application form includes about 130 questions. Some of the basic eligibility criteria include that you:
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- Need to have a valid SSI (Social Security Number),;
- Should have a high school diploma or GED;
- Have a clean past record and no possession of illegal drugs felonies; and
- Must be registered with U.S. Selective Service.
Also keep in mind that the whole application procedure takes about 18 months to complete and most of the aid is provided on 'first come, first serve' basis. You would need to plan and apply well ahead of time.