"FAFSA Tip Sheet
Students can apply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so that they can get as much free money for college as possible. Grants (do not have to be repaid) are available from the federal government, state governments and higher education institutions, yet more than 8 million students miss out annually because they do not complete the FAFSA form (“Missed Opportunities,” American Council on Education, 2006.)
- Know your deadlines: Deadlines vary by school and state so make sure you are aware of them. Some schools require applications in addition to the FAFSA, so check with your target schools to make sure you have completed everything.
- Apply early: The earliest you may submit the FAFSA is Jan. 1. The closer to Jan. 1 you apply, the better your chances are of getting money for school you’re entitled to from the government, the state or your school.
- Apply firstname.lastname@example.org: This reduces mail time and reduces the chances for error.
- Apply even if you think you may not qualify: Every high school graduate with a social security number is entitled to free or cheap money to pay for college. Money for college comes as need-based funds or non-need based funds. Income is only one of the criteria on which money for college is based; you can’t make too much or too little money.
- Do not rule out schools based on price: Last year there was approximately $150 billion available to help families pay for college (according to the College Board). Generally, the higher the total school costs, the more money you are entitled to receive. When selecting a school, consider several factors such as academics, size, location and cost so that you find the school that is the best fit for you. For additional information:
- Check out CollegeAnswer.com. The website features advice and tools to help pay for college including FAFSA assistance and a free scholarship database with more than 2 million scholarships worth $15 Billion. "