Federal Student Aid

Many families are in the process of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Student Aid (FSA) is currently offering many different webinars in the upcoming months

Application period moves up 3 months this year, lets families use ’15 taxes.

FASFA Website Homepage picture

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. The results of the FAFSA are used in determining student grants, work study, and loan amounts.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ®) is the first step toward getting federal aid for college, career school, or graduate school. We provide more than $150 billion in grants, work-study funds, and loans each year, but you have to complete the FAFSA to see if you can get any of that money.

College students and high school seniors can begin submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Saturday, three months earlier than in previous years.

With the application period starting in October, families will use federal income tax information they have completed for 2015 instead of having to wait until after they’ve filed their 2016 federal income taxes.

The application is important to determine what federal money will be available to students at two-year and four-year colleges and technical schools.

Completing the form as soon as possible after Oct. 1 is recommended by the U.S. Department of Education, because financial aid is limited. Students completing the form early will get the first shot at grants, scholarships and loans, according to information from the department.

The department said the form typically takes about 30 minutes. The state’s YOUniversal scholarship management system also will open for applications Oct. 1 to coincide with the filing period for federal aid, said Harold Criswell, senior associate director for the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Students applying for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship must complete both the online state aid application and the federal application, even though the scholarship program does not have a maximum income to eligibility, according form the Higher Education Department.

Click to access FAFSA.