Complete Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA
Financial aid is money to help you pay for college. Financial aid can come from your college, federal programs, state programs and even private sources. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, student loans and the work-study program.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is exactly what it sounds like – money to assist in paying for college. Financial aid could be grants and scholarships, federal student loans (that need to be repaid, plus interest), or an opportunity to participate in a work-study program.
- 10 financial aid myths: What you don’t know can cost you
- Six Simple Steps for Applying for Financial Aid for College
- How to Apply for Financial Aid for College
- 10 things to do before you apply for financial aid
- Types and Sources of Financial Aid for College
- What is the difference between grants and scholarships?
- Complete Guide to Work-Study
Use our Financial Aid Calculator to estimate your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need based on student and parent income and assets, family size, number of children in college, age of the older parent and the student’s dependency status.
Financial Aid Eligibility
When it comes to federal student financial aid, there are many factors that could impact the types and amounts of financial aid you can receive, including your Expected Family Contribution.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
- Am I Eligible for Federal Financial Aid?
- Is there an Income Cutoff on Eligibility for Financial Aid?
- Citizenship Requirements for Financial Aid Eligibility
- 15 facts about financial aid eligibility
- Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
Amount of Financial Aid
- Yes, your 529 plan will affect financial aid
- How 7 different assets can affect your financial aid eligibility
- How to save for college and still get financial aid
- Does a Sibling’s 529 Plan Assets Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?
- How Do Trust Funds Affect Financial Aid for College?
- Does Having More Debt Increase Financial Aid on the FAFSA?
Everything You Need to Know about the FAFSA
Most people applying for college have heard of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This application form is crucial to securing any financial aid from the government, including federal grants that you do not pay back, access to the work study program, and federal loans. The FAFSA is also used to apply for state grants and financial aid from most colleges and universities.
- What is the FAFSA?
- What Will I Need to Fill Out the FAFSA?
- When Does the FAFSA Open?
- FAFSA Deadlines
- How to prepare for filing the FAFSA
- When Does the FAFSA Close?
- What is the FSA ID?
- Dependency status on the FAFSA
- How to apply for financial aid at more than 10 colleges on the FAFSA
- What are the Differences between the FAFSA and CSS Profile?
- What Should You Do If Your FAFSA Requires Verification?
- Divorce and the FAFSA
Common FAFSA Mistakes
When filling out the FAFSA, be careful not to make a mistake. An error when filling out the FAFSA can impact whether you are eligible for financial aid and the amount of aid you receive.
- How to Avoid Common FAFSA Mistakes
- FAFSA Errors that Affect Financial Aid Eligibility
- FAFSA Errors Involving Dependency Status and Other Errors
- FAFSA Errors that Affect the Amount of Financial Aid
Financial Aid Award Letters
After a college assembles a financial aid package for a student, it will send the student a financial aid award letter or notification. The award letter provides information about the types and amounts of financial aid awarded to the student.
- How to Evaluate College Financial Aid Award Letters
- How to Make Sense of College Financial Aid Award Letters
- Award Letters: Five Signs You’re Getting a Lousy Financial Aid Deal
How to Get More Financial Aid
There are ways to increase the amount of financial aid you receive. You can position your income and assets to maximize your eligibility for need-based financial aid. You can appeal to your college to try to receive more financial aid.
- How to Get More Financial Aid for College
- How to Win More Merit Scholarships
- Last-Minute Financial Aid Tips
- Who Can Appeal for More Financial Aid?
- How to Appeal for More Financial Aid for College
- When to Appeal for More Financial Aid
Can Financial Aid Be Taken Away?
Financial aid is a wonderful thing but there’s another side to it, too. Financial aid has misconceptions and can be confusing, and it has the ability to be taken away.