The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that you have to fill out, if you want to get financial aid (federal grants, loans and work-study). FAFSA is an application that allows you to be considered for one of the nine federal student aid programs and other institutional aid.

The US Department of Education has many offices, and one of them is the Federal Student Aid, this office ensures that all eligible students be benefited from federal financial aid.

If you want to hand your application out, you must do so beginning January 1st of each year. It is recommended you do so as early as possible to obtain the maximum financial assistance. There is a renewal FAFSA for those who completed it in previous years, because it is necessary applicants update the information that might have changed.

The FAFSA form has several questions (around 130) about income, dependency and assets. The Expected Family Contribution is included and they analyze many factors such as number of students from household in college, assets and incomes.

The following is a list of critical functions of Federal Student Aid:
  • Review a large number of applications a year.
  • Offer the possibility that students continue to study, and help families in the process of obtaining financial aid.
  • Enforce financial aid rules.
  • Help to manage billions in student aid dollars with information technology systems.
  • Give millions of student loan accounts and it ensures that all loans are repaid.
Luckily, almost all students are eligible for some type of financial aid. However, students who cannot get a financial aid might still be eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan in spite of circumstances or income.

If you want to be eligible, you need to meet the following criteria:
  • You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number.
  • You must have a high school diploma, and pass Ability-to-benefit test if you are an adult students.
  • You must be registered with US Selective Service.
  • You must promise that you will use the financial aid for education purposes.
  • While you have financial aid, you won't be found guilty of the possessions or sale of illegal drugs.
  • You must not be indebted to some any loans.
FAFSA keeps a multi-faceted and complicated mission that requires a number of staff skills and requires coordination at all levels of management.