Why Is the FAFSA Important?

Q: Why is the FAFSA application important? Do I need to fill it out?

A: The FAFSA (or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is important because completing this form is the only way to receive state and federal financial aid.

Completing the FAFSA is the single most important step that you can take to get financial aid. By completing the FAFSA, you are applying for most types of financial aid.

Completing the FAFSA does not obligate students or parents to accept student loans or any other form of financial aid.

The FAFSA can be a bit complicated and most students will need help from a parent in order to complete the form.

The best way to complete the FAFSA is online at www.fafsa.ed.gov

By completing the FAFSA online you will have access to help when you need it and you can cut weeks off the amount of time it takes to process the form.

Although tax information from last year is required to complete the form, you do not have to wait until you and your parents have filed your tax returns. The FAFSA allows applicants to estimate the information and correct it once taxes are completed.

Apply as early as possible after January 1 of the year you plan to enroll. Students do not have to wait to apply for financial aid until they have been accepted for admission to the college.

Students should not assume they are not eligible for financial aid. The FAFSA is necessary for many scholarships and student loans as well. And most families can qualify for federal financial aid regardless of income or assets. Everyone should apply.