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Federal Student Aid Website - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell Grant, Federal student loans and Federal Work-Study) - (See for further details).

The application is an opportunity for students to be considered for the following:

1.the nine federal student-aid programs
2.the 605 state aid programs
3.most of the institutional aid available

The U.S. Department of Education begins accepting the application beginning January 1 of each year for the upcoming academic year. The application period is 18 months and on a first come first serve basis…however, Six states (Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont) award state grants on a first come first served basis, until the money runs out. Keep in mind that applicants who have completed a FAFSA in previous years may submit a renewal FAFSA...any information that has changed must be updated annually. The FAFSA does not have questions related to student or family race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or religion.

A summary of the FAFSA responses from each applicant is forwarded to each student. It is of the utmost importance that the student review the SAR (The report is a Student Aid Report) to be sure that there are no errors, thus allowing an opportunity to correct such errors.

A CSS (short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, is an application distributed by the College Board in the United States allowing college students to apply for financial aid) Profile is required to be completed by some colleges as an early admissions or early decision application deadline. It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. It is much more detailed than the FAFSA.