Apply for financial aid

Federal financial aid can help you make higher education a reality. Completing a FAFSA is the essential first step.

Apply no matter what
A brochure that says “start here, go further, federal student aidA 2004 study showed that in academic year 1999-2000, 850,000 students who were probably eligible for a federal grant missed out because their families didn’t apply. Don’t let that happen to you!

Apply early
A calendar with a day circled.Fill out the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible during your senior year in high school. Apply as early as you can! Millions apply every year, and some funding is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get a head start
A young woman working on a computer.The sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll see your financial aid packages and can make your school decisions and plans. You’ll also have more time to apply for private loans if you need them.

Reapply each year!
The words “Renewal FAFSASince your finances and costs may change, each year that you’re in school you must complete a paper or online Renewal FAFSA in order to qualify for the next academic year. Also, continue applying for grants and scholarships.

Watch your mailbox
A row of mailboxesThe federal government will mail you the Renewal FAFSA information to your home, so watch for its arrival. If you don’t receive this information, contact your school’s financial aid office.

Note: If you’re a student who works to help support your family, be sure to tell your school’s financial aid office. This fact may make you eligible for more financial assistance.

Click the Next button to compare two financial aid packages.