Free application for federal student aid – FAFSA overview

FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an application form made available to prospective American college students who are trying to determine their eligibility and chances of gaining some form of student financial aid.

This application process is deemed as the “gateway” to have an opportunity of gaining access to nine types of federal student aid programs as well as over six hundred state and institutional aid programs available. Starting on January 1st, the US Department of Education allows a period of up to eighteen months to process applications; although most aid programs are provided on a straightforward first come first serve basis. Fortunately for students who perhaps miss out one year, they can simply re-submit there previous attempted form for the following year – as long as any changes are amended prior to submission.

For the 2010-2011 year FAFSA application form, 130 questions regarding the financial background, assets, income and dependancy of the student in question and their close family were asked. Ultimately the answers to these questions provide the government with a figure called the EFC (Expected Family Contribution), which serves as a formula for this decision making process. The reason for requiring these questions to be answered is because the US government sets a minimal expectation that the parents of prospective students will contribute to their child’s education – whether they can afford to or not.

One redeeming feature of the FAFSA application form is that there are no questions asked regarding race, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or religion – whereas often some scholarships can be seen to benefit those of ethnic minority backgrounds.

Ultimately in order to be eligible to apply through the FAFSA process, the prospective student must meet certain specifications; US Citizenship, holder of a valid social security number, have a high school diploma of some form and has not been found guilty of the sale or possession of illegal drugs whilst federal aid is received.

Related information:

Posted on 2010/12/07 by Banyan College. This entry was posted in Information and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.