Filling Out The FAFSA (Federal Student Aid)

What Is The FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the application form you must submit to schools every year to determine eligibility for federal financial aid including grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships. Additionally, many states and colleges will use FAFSA data to award their own aid.

Completing The FAFSA

Ready to fill out the FAFSA?
Head to
Application opens October 1 and closes on June 30.

Additional info regarding
– How to prepare
– How to fill out the form and
– What to do after completing the form
are on the links below.

Lending Tree: What Is The FAFSA?
University of California: FAFSA Tips

After filling out the FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report and each school you apply to will review your FAFSA and award aid accordingly. Make sure to carefully review each award letter you receive.

Types of Federal Aid

Grants and Scholarships: Federal aid in the form of grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back. There is an extensive list on the HCC website under “College Scholarships for Students with Demonstrated Financial Need,” such as Pell and TEACH Grants.

Loans: federal student loans will be from the US Department of Education. These typically lower fixed interest rates than private student loans.

Work-Study: Getting a work-study job through the Federal Work-Study Program allows you to earn at least minimum wage by working part-time.

More detailed information on the types of aid can be found here.

CSS Profile

Note: Some some colleges require that you also complete a CSS profile for financial aid. If you are applying to a school that requires the CSS profile, you will need to complete it.
Check this site for colleges, universities, and scholarship programs that use CSS Profile and/or IDOC as part of their financial aid process for some or all of their financial aid applicants. Please check schools’ websites or contact the institution for more information.