FAFSA - Definition & Meaning

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form used by students in the United States to apply for financial assistance, including grants, work-study opportunities, and loans, to help cover the costs of higher education.

The completion of the FAFSA is a crucial step for students seeking financial aid from federal, state, and institutional sources. The information provided on the FAFSA is used to assess a student's eligibility for various types of financial aid programs based on factors such as family income, assets, and the number of family members attending college.

By completing the FAFSA, students are considered for federal programs such as Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Direct Loans. Additionally, many states and colleges use the FAFSA information to determine eligibility for their own financial aid programs.

The FAFSA is typically available for completion annually, and the application window opens several months before the start of the academic year. It is important for students to submit the FAFSA as early as possible to maximize their opportunities for financial assistance.

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