The most important thing about prepping for college isn't getting into the same school as your friends, making your dorm look like a hotel suite, or figuring out what classes to take-it's finding the cash to pay for it. You want to get in and out of college without student loan debt, right? Right. And that's why you need to know all the details about a form called the FAFSA.
What Is FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) is the form schools will use to decide how much money to offer you for college, and also what kinds of aid you qualify for. You can fill it out here.
But hold up-before you jump to payday loans Wisconsin the FAFSA website, you need to know a few things about how it works.
How Does the FAFSA Work?
- Student loans: This is money you have to pay back (plus interest). I want you to stay the heck away from these!
- Scholarships and grants: There are a ton of different scholarships available through the FAFSA. And there are two main kinds of federal grants: the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG Grant). All of this is free money-that's the kind of financial aid you want.
FAFSA is used to figure out if you qualify for both kinds of aid, but I need to say this louder for the people in the back: Don't go into debt to attend college. It's totally possible to cash flow your education.
The reason I'm so passionate about helping you avoid student loans is because of the stress and problems I've seen them cause in the lives of so many young people (including my own life).
I'm one of millions of Americans who fell for the lie that you have to take out loans to go to college. I wound up with a ton of student loan debt-and a ton of regret. It's all paid off now, but it took a lot of time and energy to knock it out. But with the FAFSA and the availability of so many scholarships and grants, plus other cash-flowing strategies, you can get ahead of college costs so debt is no longer an option.
When Is the FAFSA Deadline?
The key dates for the 2021–2022 award year are (the final deadline). The FAFSA form for the 2022-2023 award year opened . That means the application is open now-so if you meet the requirements, go ahead and apply ASAP! Don't wait. The sooner you apply, the better chances you have of getting aid.
Keep in mind that state financial aid deadlines vary, so head to the FAFSA website to find out each state's exact requirements. You should also check for financial aid deadlines on your potential college's website.
What Are the FAFSA Requirements?
- Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national
- Have a green card, an Arrival-Departure Record, battered-immigrant status, or a T-visa (if you're not a U.S. citizen)
- Have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or if you were homeschooled, have completed a state law-approved high school education program
- Be enrolled as a student (or at least accepted) in an approved degree or certificate program
- Be registered with Selective Service (this is only a requirement if you're a guy age 18–25)
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Sign statements on the FAFSA form saying that you're not in default on a federal student loan, you don't owe a refund on a federal grant, and you'll use federal student aid for your education ONLY 1