The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form the U.S. Department of Education requires to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). A “need analysis” is conducted by the government based on a family’s financial information, such as income, assets, and other information, which you and your parents will be asked to provide.

A federal processor examines the application and results are sent via computer to the colleges’ financial aid offices of those that you have chosen. The FAFSA is the application most colleges use to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, as well as grants, loans, and work-study programs.

Most every student is eligible for various financial aid programs provided that you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen, national, or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have registered with Selective Service (males ages 18-25)
  • Complete FAFSA promising to use aid for education
  • Do not owe refunds on federal student grants
  • Are not in default on a student loan
  • Have not been found guilty of sale/possessions of illegal drugs during the time receiving financial aid

Students can begin the process of filing the FAFSA starting January 1st. The earlier you file the better chance of accessing the most financial aid possible as much of it is awarded on a first-come basis.

When beginning this process, please make sure that you check colleges’ deadline instructions. Filing as close to January 1st as possible is highly recommended, as missing a deadline could greatly hinder your opportunity for financial aid.

Please contact the guidance office for further information.