Completing the FAFSA is the only way to apply for Federal Financial Aid (money for college – grants, work-study, and student loans).
What is the FAFSA?
“FAFSA” is an acronym for the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” In short, the FAFSA is the one application you submit in order to apply for money to pay for college (such as grants, work-study, and student loans – even some scholarships require that you complete your FAFSA).
If you don’t submit your FAFSA, you cannot receive grants, work-study positions, federal student loans, and potentially some scholarships from your state or federal government.
Why you should complete the FAFSA:
- Even if you have a full ride scholarship or savings to help pay for college, filing a FAFSA is a good backup plan to cover unexpected expenses. Many scholarships require you to file the FAFSA as part of the application process.
- You never know what financial aid you might end up getting! Many students file their FAFSA and are surprised to find out that they qualify for a grant or a need-based scholarship.
- It doesn’t take as long as you think. Usually less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
- It’s not as difficult as you think. FAFSA on the web (FAFSA.gov) has “Help and Hints” on every section, as well as online chat, phone help, and a frequently asked questions section. If you’d prefer in-person help, you can come to a free and public FAFSA Completion Open House or ask your school counselor for help. Don’t hesitate to contact the financial aid office your college or university you want to attend to ask for school-specific financial aid and FAFSA information.
- You aren’t required to accept loans – or any financial aid for that matter. The FAFSA is just an application.
- Completing the FAFSA is a requirement for the Regents’ Scholarship.
Where/when should you complete the FAFSA?
- The FAFSA is available starting on October 1st of each year. The earlier you file, the better.
- You will complete the FAFSA at FAFSA.gov or using the myStudentAid mobile app.
- The first time you complete the FAFSA will be during your senior year of high school.
- You will file the FAFSA again each year you are in college.
There’s more than one version of the FAFSA available on FAFSA.gov; 2018-19 and 2019-20.
If you’re attending college starting fall of 2019 (next year), you will submit the 2019-20 FAFSA (available October 1, 2018).
If you are attending college before fall semester 2019, you will file the 2018-19 FAFSA (available now).
Do you need help with your FAFSA? We can help!
- Come out to any one of our free and public FAFSA Completion Open Houses going on all over the state of Utah. Click here for more information and to see the entire calendar.
- See our super helpful FAFSA videos on YouTube here.
- For help completing the FAFSA on your own at home, click here to download a free copy of our Do-It-Yourself FAFSA Kit here.