Nov 01

Am I Eligible for FAFSA?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the hottest topics of the youth, especially since the financial situation across the globe began to go pretty much unstable. FAFSA raises many questions and to avoid misinformation, here is a rundown of FAFSA FAQ to help students and families learn how to avail of it.

What is FAFSA?

Federal Student Aid is a component of the United States Department of Education and is the largest provider of financial aid for students across the US. Under the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the role of the Federal Student Aid is to manage programs regarding financial assistance (grants, work-study funds, loans) for students attending college or career school.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) sometimes referred to as FAFSA financial aid, is a program developed by Federal Student Aid to facilitate the process of submission, screening, and approval of student aid.

What does FAFSA do?

FAFSA is involved in the entire process of student financial aid:

  • Accepting and processing applications
  • Disseminating useful information regarding student financial aid through FAFSA online and other avenues
  • Managing student aid report and federal student loan portfolio
  • Serving as an oversight in monitoring the compliance of students, schools, financial institutions, and all other program participants with laws and regulations regarding federal student aid programs
  • Securing repayment from federal student loan borrowers
  • Assisting students and families through the process of financial aid

How many people avail of FAFSA?

The United States Department of Education awards approximately $150 billion a year in federal student aids. FAFSA processes about 22 million submissions yearly, covering over 6,200 colleges and career schools in different states.

Who is eligible to apply for FAFSA?

The criteria for eligibility for federal student aid varies on the type of student aid one wants to apply for. The following are the basic eligibility criteria for FAFSA:

  • A citizen of the United States (or eligible non-citizen of the United States)
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (except for the students from the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands)
  • Have a General Education Development (GED) certificate or high school diploma or home schooling papers
  • Be enrolled as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Have satisfactory academic performance
  • Have no existing refund on a federal student grant or no outstanding federal student loan
  • Be registered with Selective service (except for students from Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and Federated States of Micronesia)
  • Have not incurred conviction for offenses related to illegal drugs (possession of, sale of, etc.) while receiving federal student aid

What are the different types of federal student aid?

There are many types of federal student aid such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Education Award for community service with AmeriCorps, aid in serving in the military or for being the spouse or child of a veteran to name a few. Federal student aids are generally categorized under:

  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work-study

 How is the FAFSA estimator used?

The FAFSA estimator is also called FAFSA4caster and is found at the FAFSA website. All that needs to be done is to select the answers to the questions on the page and the options for paying for college or the FAFSA estimate will be revealed at the end.

What is the FAFSA pin?

The FAFSA pin is a 4-digit number used in combination with the unique Social Security Number, name, and birthdate. The FAFSA pin is used to identify FAFSA accounts and access personal information. The FAFSA pin is something that has to be applied for and it is used to sign Federal Student Aid documents, make binding legal obligations and access personal records.

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