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FAFSA and its benefits for US students

What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation There are more than 1, 300 employees at federal student aid’s office who help almost 13 million students in paying for college and career school – With the help of $120 billion in the form of federal grants, loans, and work-study funds annually, U.S. Department of Education has successfully provided student loans until now.

What do they do?

Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (USA). These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.

FAFSA ensures:

  • informing students and families about the availability of the federal student aid programs and the process for applying for and receiving aid from those programs.
  • developing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and processing approximately 20 million FAFSA submissions each year
  • accurately disbursing, reconciling, and accounting for all federal student aid funds that are delivered to students each year through more than 6, 000 colleges and career schools
  • managing the outstanding federal student loan portfolio and securing repayment from federal student loan borrowers.
  • offering free assistance to students, parents, and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process.
  • providing oversight and monitoring of all program participants—schools, financial entities, and students—to ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, and policies governing the federal student aid programs.

What are the basic Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
  • Have a Social Security Number. Except for students from the Freely Associated States (e.g., Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau).
  • Student should have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. (Students from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau are exempt from registering; see https://sss.gov for more information.)
  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.
  • Many types of federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant or subsidized loans where the government pays the interest while you are in college, also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

WHEN should you file the FAFSA?

The deadline for federal student aid for the 2018-2019, (FAFSA) between October 1, 2017 and midnight Central Time, June 30, 2019. File this federal at the earliest so that you don’t miss it and corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 14, 2019. You can find your state’s deadline a https://fafsa.ed.gov/deadlines.htm.

Where do you file the FAFSA?

The student can fill online at https://fafsa.ed.gov. There are no charges for filing in FASAS.

What are the benefits of FAFSA?

It’s FREE and only takes about 30 minutes to completely fill the form!

Filling for FAFSA has become an easy and simple  task. It only takes about 30 minutes to complete and that’s probably less time than you spend watching your favorite TV show each week. So, spend 30 minutes completing the application and you could qualify for thousands of dollars in financial aid.

(SOURCE: https://fafsa.ed.gov.)

Author: Rohit Kapur

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