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FAFSA Overview

Rachel Ezeadichie

Volume 4 Issue 4

May 29, 2024

FAFSA Overview

Image Provided by Elaine Ching

College is a wonderful opportunity to continue one’s educational journey and learn more about oneself and what opportunities lie ahead. Attending college, however, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars without scholarships or financial aid. This leads many students to apply for state and federal financial aid through the FAFSA form. FAFSA or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form is a form that students need to complete each year to receive financial aid for college. The form helps determine eligibility for financial aid and gives students access to financial assistance through grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans.  

The FAFSA form helps students by allowing them to apply for financial aid to assist them with college payments. It asks for information regarding the student’s and their family’s financial status, personal information, and other details to determine eligibility. This information is sent to the colleges of a student’s choice and each college decides the amount of aid given, if any. Some information needed to complete the form includes a social security number, federal income tax return, and W-2 forms. It is recommended to create a FSA ID (Federal Student Aid Identification) as it is needed to renew the FAFSA each year. The form itself takes about an hour to fill out and can be submitted online, mailed, or submitted through your college of choice. After the form is submitted, students receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) that reviews the information provided and an EFC (Expected Family Contribution), an index number that determines eligibility for federal aid. 

Completing the FAFSA offers many benefits and has become a crucial step in the college process for many. Although tedious and complicated at times, this form allows more students to receive the assistance they need and gives many people access to the resources they need to further their education. It serves as a gateway to new opportunities, and it should be utilized as such. If you are having difficulties with the form or do not understand parts of it, talk to a teacher or guidance counselor or visit the official website at With the FAFSA, students are paving the way for a more affordable education, one step at a time. 

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