How the FAFSA Works

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Looking for a college, applying, and getting in is complicated enough. But throw the FAFSA on top of that, and you’ve got a recipe for a serious headache.

The FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form which college students in the United States can fill out in order to see if they qualify for financial aid from the government. Even if you think that you won’t, it’s worth doing — there are lots of different kinds of aid: Pell Grants, federal Work-Study, and loans. You never know.

In fact, in the 2014-2015 school year, students left $2.7 billion on the table, unclaimed. And that’s not $2.7 billion in loans — that’s $2.7 billion in free grant money! And this is because over 1 million high school grads didn’t even bother filling out the FAFSA. So, if you’re applying for college, or in college, please don’t leave money on the table. Fill out the FAFSA.

Of course, we get that it seems daunting. But in order to ensure that the hardest part will just be convincing yourself to sit down and do it, the publication College Choice has created a free guide to the FAFSA that walks you through the process, step-by-step, complete with screenshots, FAQs, and definitions. So check it out — you might have some federal money waiting to be claimed!

This article was contributed by guest author College Choice.

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