Did you know that each year about $80 million goes to waste because people don't fill out the FAFSA. That's right, $80 million throughout the United States just sits there because student's didn't bother to fill out the FAFSA. So, what is the FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the form you will fill out to get federal financial aid for college and post-secondary training. It may also help you qualify for financial aid from the state of Ohio and at the college of your choice. The form is free, but it could save you thousands of dollars. Please do not pay to fill out the FAFSA. There are many sites that are misleading and will ask you to submit a payment to fill it out. NEVER pay to fill out the FAFSA. The legitimate site for filling out the FAFSA form is: www.fafsa.gov
So how does the FAFSA work? By filling out the FAFSA, you will find out what you qualify for. You may qualify for grants, which you don't need to repay. If you qualify for loans, federal loans have lower interest rates and you don't start repaying them until you graduate. When filling out the FAFSA, you will need to have certain information available such as, your social security number, your parent's social security number, your drivers license (if you have one), federal tax returns and information on cash and savings. The form takes a little while to fill out but you can work on it for a little while, save it and then go back at a later time to complete it.
There are some common misconceptions about the FAFSA, so I would like to clear up a couple of them. Yes you can apply for FAFSA if you are going to school for a trade. Every year there are many Ohio students who complete the FAFSA and get funding for career training. Yes you should complete the FAFSA even if you haven't been accepted yet. There is a great website that just became available and it is an initiative of the Ohio Department of Education, it is called "FAFSA Is For You". Just click here to take you to the site.
Remember, if you have any questions regarding the FAFSA, please stop by student services and we will be glad to help you.