The vast majority of families use financial aid, scholarships and grants to fund college education. These funds usually come in the form of pay back loans, earned money and gifts. Every school year, the Department of Education offers federal grants, student loans and work study money to the tune of $120 billion to support education. Unlike private loans that come with high interest and stringent terms, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is affordable. The program operates on a rolling basis so students are encouraged to apply early because the first applicants stand a better chance of getting approved. To become a beneficiary, you need to fill out a free application for FAFSA.
Here are the top reasons why every student needs to know about and apply for FAFSA:
1. Free Money For You Each Year
When you fill out a FAFSA applicaion, your eligibility for free money such as Pell Grant increases. Besides easing the tuition burden, you do not need to pay the money back. During the 2017–2018 school calendar, the maximum award tied to a Pell Grant was slightly over $6,000. Completing a FAFSA application can also open doors to other lucrative, non-federal grants offered by colleges, states and private entities. Colleges and universities offering merit based scholarships may also use the FAFSA submissions to offer their own scholarships. Students from all financial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for FAFSA.