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What You Should Know About FAFSA:

THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID

 

WHAT IS FEDERAL STUDENT AID?

Federal student aid comes from the federal government-specifically, the U.S. Department of Education. It's money that helps a student pay for higher education expenses (i.e., college, career school, or graduate school expenses). Federal student aid covers expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. There are three main categories of federal student aid: grants, work-study, and loans.

WHO GETS FEDERAL STUDENT AID?

Every student who meets certain eligibility requirements can get some type of federal student aid, regardless of age or family income. Some the most basic eligibility requirements are that you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non citizen;

  • have a valid Social Security number;

  • register (if you haven't already) with Selective Service if you're a male between the ages of 18 and 25:

  • maintain satisfactory academic process in college or career school; and

  • show you're qualified to obtain a college or career school education by

    • having a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a state-recognized equivalent; or

    • completing a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law; or

    • enrolling in an eligible career pathways program

Find more details about eligibility requirements at studentaid.gov/eligibility.

FINANCIAL AID STEP BY STEP PROCESS:

  1. Create an FSA ID. Students, parents, and borrowers are required to uses an FSA ID, made up of a user name and password, to access U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity and electronically sign your federal student aid documents. to create an FSA ID, visit studentaid.gov/fsaid.

  2. Collect the documents needed to apply, including income tax returns and W-2 forms (and other records of income). A full list of what you need is at fafsa.gov.

  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available from Oct 1st to June 30th. Schools and states often use FAFSA information to award scholarships, and their deadlines are usually by January 15th.

  4. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) we strongly urge you to use the tool. It's the easiest way to provide your tax data and the best way of being sure that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.

  5. Review your Student Aid Report. After you apply, you'll receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. Your SAR has the information reported on your FAFSA and usually includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a number (not a dollar amount) used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Review your SAR information to make sure it's correct. The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will get your SAR data electronically.

  6. If you are selected for verification, your school's financial aid office will ask you to submit tax transcripts and other documents, as appropriate. Be sure to meet the school's deadline, or you will not be able to receive federal student aid. Whether you're selected for verification or not, make sure the financial aid office at the school has all the information they need to determine your eligibility.

  7. Contact the financial aid office if you have any questions about the aid being offered. Review award packages from schools to compare amounts and types of aid being offered. Decide which school to attend based on a combination of (a) how well the school suits your learning needs, and (b) its affordability after all aid is taken into account.

FINANCIAL AID TIPS

  1. Make sure when the application asks what HIGH SCHOOL you attended that you type Bonham High School and then select confirm. Once you select confirm, find and select Bonham High School and then hit continue. We want to make sure your application is linking to Bonham High School.

  2. Make sure you answer the following questions correctly:

    1. What will you high school completion status be when you begin college? Select High School Diploma

    2. What will your college grade level be when you begin College? Select Never Attended college/1st year (DUAL CREDIT DOES NOT COUNT)

    3. What college degree or certificate will you be working on when you begin college? Select either 1st Bachelors Degree or Associates Degree