Everything You Need to Know About FASFA- Free Application for Student Aid

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Students who seek financial aid to acquire a college degree often hear about FASFA. So, if you are wondering what is it and how to get financial aid through it then you are at the right place. Today, I would like to unlock all the information you need regarding this matter.

What is FASFA?

FASFA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. Federal Education department of the United States offers financial aids to students. In order to apply for it, they have to fill out a form /FAFSA. Both current and prospective college students complete this form and submit it in the United States. This form would determine their eligibility for student financial aid. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, you need to fill this form annually just to get considered for financial aid while you are in school.

Eligibility Criteria: 

A student who meets following requirement is regarded eligible for filling FASFA

  • has registered with the Selective Service System (age 18-25). This requirement doesn’t apply to female students.
  • has a valid Social Security number
  • is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an eligible non-citizen
  • has a high school diploma or GED

An applicant needs to sign a certification statement in which he states that he does not default on a federal government student loan/credit and do not owe money on a federal student grant. He will accept that federal student aid will only be used for educational purposes.

Another important eligibility criteria for a student is that he has not been found guilty of the sale of illegal drugs while he received federal aid.

What do you Require to Fill FASFA?

For filling this aid form, make sure you have following things

A computer with internet access

Federal Student Aid ID

Social security number

Current or past year income information of both student and parent unless you are an independent student

Valid email address through which authorities can contact you and provide you important information regarding your application

How to fill the form?

Go to FASFA.gov and click on “Start a New FASFA”

If you didn’t have a FAFSA Id then you need to make an account on this website first.

Login by adding your name, Social Security and birthday

Now start filling the form, once you are done entering all details, recheck all your answers. Because you can’t make correction of every answer you give, though you can correct a few answers later. Submit the form.

What happens after you fill the form?

All the FASFA information will be shared with colleges or career schools list you mention on your application. The financial aid office at school will use all this information just to decide how much financial aid you need. You can contact your financial aid office at school where you might have to fill out some other forms to acquire school aid.

In addition, this form will be shared with state higher education agency and also with the agencies states where your selected list schools are located. There are many states which offer financial aid based on FASFA information to the students.

In other words, FASFA will a student to apply for Federal, state and school financial aid programs.

What is SAR?

SAR stands for Student Aid Reports, you will get this report from the office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education. Actually, it is a summary of the FASFA information you submitted. It is really important to review this report. If you find any mistake, you should correct it immediately. This report is issued normally within 3 days to 3 weeks (depending on the way you submit FASFA) after you submit the form.

How to check FASFA form status?

Once you submit a form, you want to know whether it has been processed or not. It is advisable to wait for at least 8-10 days before you check FASFA form status. You can get an update regarding your form in two different ways. One way is to visit fasfa.gov and log in.  On the other hand, you can check the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

What does note “selected for verification” mean?

When you check SAR, there might be a note “selected for verification”. It means that you need to start the verification of your FASFA data process in the school with the help of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. In other words, the school uses a verification process just to make sure that data you enter into your FASA form is accurate. For this purpose, the school will request some additional documents which provide proof of the information you entered in your form.

What is an Award Letter?

When you apply for admission in a college or career school and you have been selected for that educational institute which is listed on your FASFA form, that school will calculate your aid. The Financial Aid office at school will check your FASFA form details and figure out how much aid you need. After the calculation, you will get an electronic or paper aid offer which is often named as an “award letter”. This letter makes it clear how much financial aid you are eligible for in that school.

How to Accept Aid?

Before you accept Aid offer, you must have to understand what kind of aid you have been offered and what aid you really need. You either get a grant which is free money and you won’t have to pay it back or a loan that you will have to pay back. A school mentions a deadline alongside an award letter. A student needs to accept or reject that offer within the stipulated timeline set by the school.

How Do I get my money?

You need to check with Financial Aid Office staff who will provide you all the information regarding your money like how and when you will get financial aid money. It is also possible that you have to complete some paperwork before getting any aid. So, make sure you are in contact with your school’s Financial Aid office to get a clear idea about your aid and its related requirements.

FASFA if offering help through Federal Student Aid’s YouTube Channel for short information through the video process. The best thing to watch youtube video we have placed above to understand the article perfectly.