What is FAFSA and What Does It Do?

How to Apply for FAFSA

Wondering about FAFSA?

If you’re a student going to college for the first time, or the parent of a first-time college student, you may have a lot of questions about financial aid: What is FAFSA, exactly? How does it work? Below are the basics you need to know before classes start up.

What is FAFSA? 

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a free form you can use to apply for financial aid for higher education in the United States. If you want to go to college, grad school, or vocational school but are worried about paying for it, FAFSA can help.

To receive aid, you must fill out FAFSA for every year you attend school. 

Who can apply for aid with FAFSA?

There are a few basic FAFSA requirements, but if you’ve been accepted to a certificate or degree program in the U.S., it’s likely that you’re eligible. To apply, you need to either be a U.S. citizen or “eligible noncitizen.”

You can apply without being a U.S. citizen in many cases. For example, if you’re a permanent resident or a refugee, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for FAFSA aid.

How much aid you can receive through the FAFSA?

These resources can help you see how much aid you might receive:

  • FinAid’s Quick EFC Calculator: This tool has you fill out a few details and tells you how much federal financial aid you’re likely to get. 
  • FAFSA4caster: A form that helps you estimate your FAFSA aid on the official website.

If federal aid isn’t enough, there are other need-based state programs in Nevada that can help cover additional costs. The FAFSA is part of the process for being considered for state aid as well. So if you are hoping to get any financial aid, then you should fill out FAFSA. 

Applying for FAFSA

To maximize the amount of aid you receive, you should file the FAFSA as soon as possible after it opens. Follow the guidelines below to make sure your application is processed quickly and accurately.

When does the FAFSA open?

The FAFSA opens on October 1st.

When is the FAFSA due?

The FAFSA site homepage gives information about state and federal aid deadlines.

The federal deadline for the 2020-21 school year is June 30, 2021.

The 2020-21 school year deadline for the Nevada Promise Scholarship, which awards need-based aid to community college students, is April 1, 2020. The Silver State Opportunity Grant, another need-based assistance program in Nevada, encourages students to file as soon as possible.

Make sure to check with any schools you’re considering attending to see what their individual deadlines are.

How do you apply for the FAFSA?

You can apply:

  1. Through the myStudentAid app for Android or iPhone.
  2. On the official FAFSA website.
  3. By calling the FAFSA helpline at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 334-523-2691 (1-800-730-8913 for TTY) and asking for a printed form to fill out and mail in.

If you have any other questions, you can dial the number above for assistance. FAFSA help is also available online through live chat or email. If you are at a school in Las Vegas with Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, you can stop by and we can help you fill out your form correctly.