Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceFinancial Aid · 1 decade ago

What is FAFSA?

Is FAFSA a loan or a grant? And how do you get the federal pell grant and state grants? I'm a single mom starting college in the fall. I was told I would be able to get alot of help with finances....HOW?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Neither Loan or Grant

    The FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step in the financial aid

    process. You use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as grants, loans and work-study. In

    addition, most states and schools use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid.

    Save time: File Electronically!

    Tips to Getting Aid Without Delay!

    We asked financial aid advisors from around the country what they would tell students

    filling out their FAFSAs. Here’s what they said:

    Important: Read the form!

    Many questions on the FAFSA are straightforward, like your Social Security Number or

    your date of birth. But many require you to read the instructions to make sure you answer the

    question correctly. Words like “household,” “investments” and even “parent” all have common

    meanings, but are specifically defined for purposes of federal student aid. So be sure to read the


    You may have unique family situations that cause you to have additional questions. You

    should then contact a financial aid administrator at the school you wish to attend for


    Apply early.

    Deadlines for aid from your state, from your school, and from private sources tend to be

    much earlier than deadlines for federal aid. To make sure that any financial aid package your

    school offers you will contain aid from as many sources as possible, apply as soon as you can

    after January 1, 2005.

    The U.S. Department of Education will process your 2005-2006 FAFSA if received on or

    before June 30, 2006. However, to actually receive aid, your school must have your correct,

    complete information before your last day of enrollment in the 2005-2006 school year. So it is

    important to apply early to make sure you leave enough time for your school to receive your

    information and to make any necessary corrections.

    Complete your tax return.

    Filling out your tax return first will make completing the FAFSA easier. However, you do

    not need to submit your tax return to the IRS before you submit your FAFSA. But, once you

    (and your parents if you are a dependent student) file your tax return, you must correct any

    income or tax information that changed since you filed your FAFSA. Inaccurate information

    on your FAFSA may delay your receipt of federal student aid. Also, you will be required to

    return federal aid you improperly received based upon incorrect information.

    You can fill out and submit your application through FAFSA on the Web at Electronic filing is the fastest and easiest way to apply for financial aid.

    It’s also more accurate because the information you enter in FAFSA on the Web will be edited,

    and we will call your attention to any errors or missing information. This reduces the chance

    your application might be rejected, or that you will need to correct your information later.

    Preventing errors means your school will receive your application sooner.

    If you have a U.S. Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number), you can

    even sign FAFSA on the Web electronically. To request a PIN, visit Your

    parents can also request and use their own PINs to sign your FAFSA online. We encourage you

    to apply for a PIN prior to submitting your FAFSA, but if you don’t we’ll automatically send you

    one once we have processed your application.

    Ask: Do I need additional forms?

    The FAFSA is the one application for federal student aid. Many schools and states rely

    solely upon this information. However, your school or state may require you to fill out additional

    forms. These additional forms may have deadlines that are earlier than the federal student aid

    deadlines, so be sure to check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.

    Good Luck.

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