Seniors- Everything you Need to Know about FAFSA

FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, has been opened to students to fill out since Oct. 1 available to until June 30. FAFSA is a government-provided form available to fill out for free online that helps students going to college or career school with access to grants, loans, and work-study funds. The application takes about 30 minutes to fill out and essentially helps students go to college and have the opportunity for helpful scholarships.Depending on the college the student decides to go, the amount of money they will receive will vary,along with the deadline that colleges will accept for the applications. With these in consideration, its best to fill out the FAFSA form as soon as possible since some of the funds are on a first-come, first-served basis. FAFSA does not take SAT, ACT, or AP test scores into consideration (like regular college applications do), so anyone can have a chance at receiving money. All that students need are their parent’s financial records and personal information like social security, date of birth, and tax information to complete the online form. 

Students often wonder how much money they will receive, and it’s ultimately decided on a simple formula each college uses. 

First, the college takes the cost of attendance which is the total amount it will cost a student to go to that school. Of course, this varies since some schools are more expensive than others.. Then, the college subtracts the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is based on the information the student provided in the online form and will not change based on the school. A person’s Cost of Attendance minus the EFC equals that person’s financial need. After all this information, the college uses the person’s financial need to determine how much financial aid the person is granted. 

The official FAFSA website can help answer any questions students or parents have about financial aid. 

Senior Yuli Perez has already filled out her FAFSA form in hopes of attending the University of Georgia with her Zell Miller scholarship. “I filled mine out the first day it was available. The first people who fill out the form are considered to be dedicated since they prioritize their time in being the first people to fill it out.” 

Erica Pizano, a 22-year-old college student attending the University of North Georgia speaks on her experience with FAFSA. “It really helped me with not only paying my tuition, but there were semesters that I had money left over to buy my books in addition to my tuition which is awesome because without it I would be in so much debt and would have needed to take out a loan.” Pizano also adds “I definitely had a lot less stress because I was working less, meaning less money. But at the same time, I was okay because I wasn’t paying loans. So whoever invented this, praise them!” 

There’s still plenty of time to fill out applications for financial aid as of Nov. 2019 and will help hundreds of students in the long run.