How Does the FAFSA Work?
Every year the U.S. federal government provides billions of dollars of financial aid to qualified
undergraduate and graduate students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans,and work-study jobs.The
U.S. Department of Education overlooks the management of these funds and they are dispersed through
individual educational institutions.
To receive federal financial aid from the government, a student must first fill out and submit the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be doneonline through FAFSA on the Web.
Financial aid is provided to students on a first come, first served basis, so the sooner you apply, the
greater your chances of securing maximum financial aid if you are eligible.
What does the FAFSA help to decide?
You should try to fill out the FAFSA as close to January 1 as possible. The FAFSA aims to determine a
student’s and family’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount of money a family
can be expected to contribute toward a college education.
Based on the information you provide on the FAFSA, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated. This
will list your EFC and the different kinds and amounts of financial aid for which you qualify.
Furthermore, the SAR will be sent to the colleges you list on the FAFSA form. These colleges can use
this data to decide which student will receive what kind of grant, scholarship, and loan.
Who can file the FAFSA?
Any student who wishes to pursue a post-secondary education or is currently enrolled in a post-
secondary program can file the FAFSA.
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you need to:
● Be a U.S. citizen, legal, permanent resident of the U.S., or an eligible non-citizen U.S. national
● Have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent
How should you fill out the FAFSA?
Try to fill out the FAFSA with care and precision and try to ensure that all the information you provide is
accurate. There are a few documents you need to get together before you fill out the FAFSA,such as your
income tax records, bank statements, and current business and investment records.Refer to the FAFSA
website for a comprehensive list of the documents you need, so you can get them all together before
beginning to fill out the FAFSA form.
What happens after you fill out the FAFSA?
A few days after you submit the online FAFSA form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to your Student
Aid Report (SAR), which will hold a summary of all your submitted information and your estimated family
contribution (EFC). Your SAR will also be sent to the colleges you have listed on your application, so that
these colleges can use this information to assemble a financial aid package for you. You will then receive
an Award Letter if you are eligible to receive financial aid, which will list the financial aid packages that
have been offered to you.
Do colleges provide any help with the FAFSA and the financial aid process?
They do. Colleges like Stevens-Henager College arrange a meeting between a financial planner and
the student to help simplify the financial aid process. Like with any other college, if you read a Stevens-
Henager review, you’ll find out details about its programs. Reading some Stevens-Henager reviews will
tell you more about their student services, the help they provide for filling out the FAFSA, their financial
aid assistance programs, and much more.
Take your time and read up on as many articles as you can before applying for financial aid. After all,
when you know better, you do better.