Federal Financial Aid

While the cost of college tuition, textbooks, and living expenses can be discouraging, you have a variety of options available to help pay for school. The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Education, offers several types of financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students. The following list of frequently asked questions will walk you through information about federal financial aid options.

What types of federal financial aid are available?

The U.S. Department of Education offers three types of financial aid: grants, loans, and work study. These programs are intended to help you pay tuition and other costs associated with attaining a higher education. Click on the following links for more information about each available federal financial aid program:

Which type of financial aid is best for me?

Financial aid advisers at your university of choice are trained to help you determine what form of aid is best. Get in touch with an adviser today.

Contact your college's admissions and financial aid departments to determine how best to integrate and utilize the federal, state, or other financial aid programs available to you. Many programs are time-sensitive as to commencement, disbursement, application documentation, and other important processing procedures, so you are encouraged to seek information and apply for financial aid as soon as possible.

How do students apply for federal aid?

To apply for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs, fill out the online U.S. Department of Education Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). It is used by a variety of financial aid programs, including state, federal, and private programs, to determine your eligibility for aid. Begin filling out the FASFA.

Can it apply for more than one program?

Yes. As a part of the FAFSA application process, you may select the programs you’d like to be considered for. Typically, all applicants are considered for grants, but if you are interested in student loans or work-study, be sure to indicate that on the application.

How much Federal Student Aid can I receive?

The amount and nature of the award depends on college costs and an individual’s financial need, which is determined by FASFA.

FASFA’s website does have a calculator, called the FAFSA4caster, which will give you an estimate of the amount you can expect to receive. Access the FAFSA4caster here.

What information is needed in order to complete a FAFSA?

In order to complete a FAFSA, you’ll need your social security number, driver’s license, income tax return, bank statements, and investment records. If you are a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information.

When should I fill out the FAFSA?

As soon as you know you want to go to college. Some programs have limited funds, so apply early to avoid missing out on any funds! Your FAFSA form can be updated and corrected once it has been submitted.

Although you can apply for federal student aid throughout the year, you need to apply early if you want to secure funding before classes begin. Check with local financial aid administrators about the specific financial aid deadlines for their school or go to the FAFSA website to get information about deadlines.