You must submit a FAFSA to be considered for grants, work-study, and federal student loans, including Federal Stafford and Federal Parent PLUS Loans.
The FAFSA examines your family’s financial situation and evaluates your eligibility for student financial aid based on U.S. Department of Education guidelines. They’ll consider a number of factors—including parent and student income, net assets, number of family members in the household, and family expenses.
Just about every family is eligible for some financial aid—even those that think they earn too much or don’t know enough about their options. And some sources of aid, such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans, are available regardless of need. But if you want to be considered for financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA.
To increase your chances of receiving financial aid, submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. Funds for need-based financial aid are limited, and most awards are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Your filing dates holds your place in the federal queue, so the sooner you file, the greater your chances of getting financial aid.
Don’t forget—you must complete the FAFSA each year to be eligible for financial aid for the new academic year.
The application generally process takes about two to six weeks. Use this time to start investigating scholarships using our Scholarship Search Engine.