Financial Aid for College from the US Government

FAFSA, Financial Aid and you.

This Web site explains  the 2007-08 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This site also contains a section that provides answers to several frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you have additional questions about federal student aid or how to complete an electronic or paper application after you review this site, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or contact your financial aid administrator (FAA). You can also go to the U.S. Federal Student Aid's Student Aid on the Web site at

You can complete a FAFSA in the following ways:

In some cases, you might be able to apply directly through your school. You should check with the financial aid administrator at the school you are interested in attending to see if the school will assist you with your application. If you are using either FAFSA on the Web or the paper FAFSA, you can use the instructions on this Web site as a guide to help you complete the application process. If you are online and come to a question you need more help with, you can use the online help text for that question by selecting the "Need Help With this Page" link at the bottom of the Web page, or you can match the question number that is in parentheses behind the online question with the sequenced question number in this publication.

Applying online is generally faster and easier for two reasons:

  • FAFSA on the Web has built-in help to guide you through the application process.
  • The schools you list on your application will receive your processed information faster.

If you do not have a computer with Internet access at home, you can usually find Internet access at your local library, high school, or a financial aid office at a nearby campus. Over 90 percent of applications are submitted electronically.

Am I eligible for federal student aid?

In general, to receive aid from the federal student aid programs, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass an approved "ability to benefit" test, or have completed a high school education in a home school setting that is recognized as a home school or private school under state law.
  • Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service if required (in general, if you are a male age 18 through 25).
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by your school.
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal loan or owe money on a federal grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

You might not be able to receive federal student aid if you've been convicted under federal or state law of selling or possessing illegal drugs, if the drug offense for which you were convicted occurred while you were receiving federal student aid. To find out your status, call our Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for information or go to and select "Before Beginning a FAFSA" on the left-hand side of the page. Once at that site, scroll down to and select on the left side "Drug Conviction Worksheet."

Sources of Information

For information on any federal student financial aid programs, you may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at

  • 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) - toll free, or
  • 1-800-730-8913 (TTY) - toll free for the hearing impaired.

The FSAIC provides the following services:

  • Helps you complete FAFSA on the Web or Corrections on the Web
  • Helps you complete the paper FAFSA
  • Answers questions about the PIN
  • Checks the processing status of your FAFSA
  • Mails duplicate Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Changes your mailing address and e-mail address
  • Changes the schools you listed on your application
  • Explains the SAR and how to make corrections
  • Checks on whether a school participates in federal student aid programs
  • Explains who is eligible for federal student aid
  • Explains how federal student aid is awarded and paid
  • Explains the verification process
  • Sends requested publications

The FSAIC is not able to do the following:

  • Make policy
  • Expedite the federal student aid application process
  • Discuss your federal student aid file with an unauthorized person
  • Influence an individual school's financial aid policies

You may also access the Department's federal student aid Web site, Student Aid on the Web, which provides general information about federal student aid and access to many of its publications, brochures, and fact sheets. The main site address for information about the federal student aid programs is

Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid is a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major types of aid available through the Department's Federal Student Aid office. This publication, which is available in English, Spanish, and Braille, tells you about the programs and how to apply for them. It can be found at

Repaying Your Student Loans

The Student Aid Audio Guide is an audio recording currently available on compact disc for visually impaired or blind students. It highlights the information contained in Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid by simulating a conversation between a customer service representative at the FSAIC and a student. You can also find it at

The EFC Formula Worksheets are a set of forms that explain the need analysis calculation that produces the EFC.

You can obtain a copy of any of these publications at no charge from:

Federal Student Aid Information Center
P.O. Box 84
Washington, DC 20044

If you applied for aid in 2006-07, you might not have to complete an entire FAFSA for 2007-08. Instead, you might be able to use a Renewal FAFSA, which is available on the Web at The Renewal FAFSA is pre-filled with data that usually hasn't changed from the previous year (such as the demographic information). Financial information that typically changes from year to year (adjusted gross income, taxes paid, asset information, etc.) is not pre-filled and you will need to provide the appropriate financial data. You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN in order to access your Renewal FAFSA.

Students who are eligible to file a Renewal FAFSA and who provided a valid e-mail address will receive a Renewal Reminder. If they did not provide an e-mail address or the e-mail address they provided was invalid, they will receive a Renewal Reminder letter.

If you need a copy of your PIN sent to you, you can go to to request a duuplicate copy.

Why complete a FAFSA?

Federal Student Aid uses the data on your FAFSA to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an indicator of your family's financial strength to pay for education after high school. Your school will subtract your EFC from your total cost of attendance. The result is your financial need.

The EFC is not the amount of money that your family is expected to pay for your education, nor is it the amount of financial aid that you will receive.

Your application results are transmitted to the school(s) listed on your FAFSA, and the school(s) use the EFC amount to determine the amount of financial aid that you are eligible to receive. Many states and schools also use the FAFSA data to award aid from their programs. Some states and schools also may require you to complete additional applications.

Completing and submitting a FAFSA is free, whether you file electronically or on paper. In fact, charging students and/or parents a fee for completing and/or submitting the FAFSA is prohibited by law.

This site contains information produced by the US Dept.of Education and compiled by the site owners.
We are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of this information.
Layout and site design copyright 2007

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