What is FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a mandatory online profile that must be completed to access funding provisions made available by the federal government to aid students pursuing undergraduate, graduate and other professional courses in higher academic institutions.
How it Works
It is quite straightforward. The FAFSA application has been structured to collect crucial information that will be used to determine the level of financial support you need to complete your education. The information you will enter in your FAFSA application includes your financial budget for the proposed academic course you are interested in studying and the budget you or your parents (family) have set aside to support your education. A comprehensive evaluation will be done to determine the extra financial support you can access from the federal government. Every year the federal government sets aside a huge budget to support students who wish to further their education. FAFSA is one of the requirements you need to access these funds; it is also a requirement by corporate organizations and other groups that provide private funding for scholarships and merit students. A FAFSA guide is essential to help you correctly complete your application.
Why is FAFSA so Important?
The information from the FAFSA applications for students is highly credible and vetted. This is why it is considered as a mandatory requirement for students who wish to access federal grants for education such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Work-study jobs offered by the federal government, the Pell Grant, and loans such as the Stafford loans, Perkins loans, among others. The FAFSA calculations are done by the educational agencies in each state to determine the students who qualify for the federal financial aid for education based on institutional merit or specific terms and conditions for the program.
Who is Eligible for FAFSA?
Considering the large numbers of students who apply for educational financial aid every year FAFSA applications are processed based on early submissions until the limit for that period is reached. Students studying professional courses such as Medicine, Business studies, or law as well as others in technical schools are eligible to apply. To be clear, all programs that offer degrees, certificates, and credits pass for FAFSA consideration. In addition to high school diplomas and equivalent qualifications, you will need one of the following requirements to be eligible for FAFSA;
- Social Security number (US citizens)
- Mandatory registration for selective service (Males between 18 years to 25 years)
- Legal permanent residency permit
- Citizens of the Pacific Islands such as Samoa, Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia
- Residents granted political asylum
This opportunity is also open to ex-convicts with the exclusion of people with drug-related convictions while studying under federal financial aid.
Disbursement of FAFSA Funds
The funds from federal grants are disbursed directly to the school two times a year to cover tuition fees and accommodation for students living on campus. The school notifies you when these fees have been paid, and any extra money is paid to you. It is expected that students use the extra funds to cover other expenses related to academic activities. Students undergoing work-study programs are given the option of being paid directly via checks or received through student accounts. Your chances of securing the best grants and scholarships are higher when you complete your FAFSA application correctly.
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