Where to Start
Fellowships & Grants
guide will explain to you, exactly how to properly complete a FAFSA for the 2000-2001
school year. It will also explain the purpose behind each of the FAFSA questions,
so if you think any questions are too personal or irrelevant you can see why
they're asking you that particular question.
best way to explore this guide is with a current copy of the FAFSA in front of
you. That way, you can follow along, and fill out the form as you read the
guide. You can get a FAFSA at the school you plan to attend, your local library,
from your high school counselor, or from the Federal Student Aid Information
Center. You can call the center at 1-800/4-FED-AID. Another way to access the
FAFSA is electronically from the FAFSA on
the Web page or the FAFSA
Express software program.
The Department of Education originally created this guide, and we owe a big
thank you to them for their insightful work. We have mirrored their site here
for your convenience.
What is the FAFSA?
The information provided on your FAFSA helps determine your eligibility for
aid from the federal student financial assistance (SFA) programs. Many states
and schools also use the FAFSA to award you aid through their programs.
Filing a FAFSA is free with no process fees or entrance requirements. Anyone
can submit a FAFSA. But remember, simply filing a FAFSA does not guarantee
you'll receive aid, federal or otherwise.
The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate an
"Expected Family Contribution," or EFC, according to a congressionally
determined formula. Your school will use your EFC to determine how much need you
have and and what federal, state, and institutional aid programs you are
eligible to receive aid from.
If you applied for aid last year, you may not have to complete the entire
FAFSA again. You should be able to use a Renewal FAFSA, that has last year's
data preprinted on it and simply change or add information. See the page
on "Renewal FAFSAs" for more