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  • Rei Pham

The New FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

“Apply for FAFSA! Don’t forget! Complete and submit your FAFSA today!” We hear it about it all the time on campus, but what exactly is FAFSA and what can it do for you?

Let’s break it down:

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It's a part of the United States Department of Education and is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. It offers more than $150 billion each year to help fund the millions of students who are aiming for higher education. Essentially, it’s free money. In case you didn’t read it right, it’s FREE MONEY!

Financial aid can come from your college, state, nonprofit and private organizations, even the federal government. More than 15 million students are awarded some type of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, or low-interest loans. Federal student aids can cover college expenses such as tuition, books, housing, and transportation.

Did you know? You can now apply for FAFSA as early as October 1. That means it’s already available for you to sign-up! Before now, you have to wait until January to begin the application process. With the new FAFSA implemented, students can now submit their FAFSA earlier using their 2015 tax return information. This new system allows students enough time to complete their application without additional stress.

Aside from just applying online, there is a verification process students need to pass in order to be granted the aid. The purpose of this step is to verify the information students provided on their FAFSA application. Until the verification process is complete, you will not be given any type of financial aid. Students can avoid delays by submitting the appropriate and valid documents.

What if you don't qualify for financial aid through FAFSA? Most students are eligible for some form of financial aid regardless of their application’s information. Even if you are a non-U.S. Citizen with a green card or have disabilities, you are still eligible to receive funding. The aid may not cover all of your college necessities, however, “Some is better than none.” With that being said, there are no excuses to not complete a FAFSA application!

For more details on the FAFSA application, visit the FAFSA. Good luck on all your college endeavors! Please share and like for more college-related articles.

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Rei Pham


Rei is a Psychology student at the University of California, Merced. As a Vietnamese immigrant, she understands the challenge of balancing both Vietnamese and American cultures. She is passionate about equality for minorities and wants to introduce the world of possibilities for first generation Vietnamese-Americans. Rei hopes to inspire the youth by sharing her stories in obtaining higher education and the resources available for them to achieve their own success.

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