FAFSA Federal Student Aid For College, Career, or Graduate School
Higher education generally means higher costs and bigger debt. However, Preparing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) can be the first step toward reducing your education costs with federal aid that is available for college, career school, or graduate school.
Completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a quick process that gives students access to the largest source of financial aid available for college or career school.
The FAFSA form can be prepared and submitted annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to help determine financial eligibility for student education aid.
When Should I Apply For FAFSA Funding?
For each tax year, you can generally apply between Jan. 1st, and June 30th. However, some federal student aid programs have limited funds, so applying as early as allowed may up your odds for acceptance.
Data collected to render a decision on your application includes:
- Financial information
- A list of up to ten schools to receive the results of the application
The FAFSA provides more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds to students each year. Access the FAFSA Application here.
What Is The FAFSA Data Collected Used For?
Your FAFSA data is used by many states and colleges, as well as some private financial aid providers to help determine what your eligibility is for state and school financial aid.
This Student Aid Report shows the federal government's conclusions of a student's eligibility for Need-based financial aid.
This information is forwarded to the student, and shows what the Expected Family Contribution will be, based on the information that was collected and analyzed from the FAFSA application.
An electronic version of the SAR report (called an ISIR) is also made available to the colleges and universities that students provide on the FAFSA. This ISIR report is also sent to state agencies that use it to award need-based aid.
Reviewing Your SAR or ISIR Report
You will receive your SAR online, or on paper depending on whether you provided an e-mail address on your FAFSA. If an e-mail address was provided, students will receive an e-mail with instructions for accessing an online copy of their SAR.
For those who do not provide an e-mail address on their FAFSA, they will receive either a SAR or a SAR Acknowledgement by postal mail.
The SAR lists your FAFSA information and provides the opportunity for students to make corrections at the FAFSA website fafsa.gov.