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Completing the FAFSA: Everything You Should Know

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,770 Senior Member
"The FAFSA is the financial aid form for accessing grants, federal student loans and work-study funds. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, is one of the most important steps students and their families can take to pay for college.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education awards around $150 billion in financial aid annually to help students pay for their education at 6,000 colleges, universities and career schools. This aid comes in the form of grants, student loans and work-study funds. In other words, funds can be awarded, such as with a grant; borrowed; or earned through work experience." ...


Replies to: Completing the FAFSA: Everything You Should Know

  • SMA0311SMA0311 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I filled out the Fafsa on time, my mother is disabled and gets a small amount monthly - that's it. Yet I got such a small amount from Fafsa that I cannot attend college. One gave me a $16K scholarship, but with only $4K from Fafsa, I cannot go. I am just trying to find an explanation on what I did wrong. Other people have told me they got a lot more, it doesn't seem right. I am an honor student. Can you give me any hints, info, etc.? Thank you!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,216 Senior Member
    Please create your own thread and in it indicate your state of residence, the college (s) you got into, your stats, especially test scores.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,108 Senior Member
    @SMA0311 -- FAFSA does not give you grant or scholarship money, except for possible qualification for a Pell grant.

    FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal financial aid.

    For undergrad, that means:

    > Eligibility for Pell grant (income dependent, maximum allowed ~$6000 per year)
    > Eligibility for federal subsidized direct loans (maximum $3500 for first years, going up to $5500) ("Subsidized" means no interest charged while you are in school).
    > Eligibility for federal work study aid from your college. (This is a job, not cash -- the beneficiary of the money is the college, which gets reimbursed part of the cost of your hourly wage).

    So FAFSA is not where you "get" any amount. It is merely a document that shows what you qualify for.

    Many colleges supplement that with their own grant aid--- but that's optional and depends on the college. Some colleges claim to meet full need for all students; most colleges don't make that promise.
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