Government forms have a well-deserved reputation for being, well...difficult.
The good news: FAFSA can be a smoother process if you follow this application guide!
This article is Part 1 in a series. If you're confident you know this information, you can move on to Part 2: Filling out the FAFSA.
Why the FAFSA?
Umm...it's free money! Think of the FAFSA as your gateway to financial aid: federal, state, and university aid often depends on you filling out the FAFSA. And if you end up needing a student loan, low-interest government loans can only be given to you if you fill out the FAFSA. Trust us, you don't want to skip this step in college financial aid. Here's some examples of what the FAFSA can do for you.
1) Federal Financial Aid ($5000+) : The government gives out many grants to students. Grants are kind of like scholarships: they don't have to be paid back! One famous grant you might be eligible for is the Pell Grant. The grant is given to over 8.5 million students a year, especially to those whose parents make under $50,000 a year. If your parents make less than about $30,000, you are pretty much guaranteed a Pell Grant providing the rest of your FAFSA information matches. The average award is $3,600 per year, and is renewable.
2) State Financial Aid ($5000+) :
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