Federal Student Financial Aid and the FAFSA
You can find grants and scholarships, student loans, and work-study programs through Federal Student Aid (FSA) to help pay for college or career school. Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to access them.
You can also learn about other financial aid programs and ways to pay for school.
Am I eligible for Federal Student Aid?
Eligibility requirements for federal student aid include:
Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
Remaining in good standing on any federal student loans you have
Being in or accepted for an eligible degree or certificate program
Maintaining adequate academic progress
How do I apply for Federal Student Aid?
Create an FSA ID account if you re going to submit your FAFSA online or track its status online. If you re going to submit a paper FAFSA by mail and will not be tracking its status, you will not need an FSA ID.
Complete and submit the FAFSA.
Know what happens after you submit the FAFSA. This includes:
Know the Deadlines for Submitting the FAFSA
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 2023-24 school year is June 30, 2024.
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 2022-23 school year is June 30, 2023.
Many states and colleges use the FAFSA for their financial aid programs. See the state deadlines. Check with your college for its deadline.
How do I check the status of an application?
You can check the status of your FAFSA:
You can check by:
Who do I contact for extra help?
Visit the FSA Contact Us page for a detailed guide listing phone numbers and other ways to reach experts about federal student aid, FAFSA, loans and loan consolidation, and more.
How do I complain about Federal Student Aid?
Get a Student Loan
When you are exploring ways to pay for college, career, or technical schools, you may think about taking out a student loan—money you borrow to help you cover your education expenses and that you must pay back with interest.
Types of Student Loans
Student loans are from the federal government (called federal student loans ) or from private sources, such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school. Learn the differences between federal and private loans before considering a loan.
Federal Student Loans
If you need to borrow money to pay for college or career school, start with federal student loans. They re more affordable than private loans.
Types of Federal Student Loan Programs - The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program offers four types of Direct Loans:
- Direct Subsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate students based on financial need.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and are not based on financial need.
- Direct PLUS Loans are made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students.
- Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.
Eligibility - You must be enrolled at a school that participates in the school loan program, and meet the general eligibility requirements.
How to apply - Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.
Private Student Loans
Before taking a private loan, make sure you need it. These loans generally are not as affordable as federal student loans and offer little repayment flexibility. Read these tips before getting a private loan.
Learn more about student loans and how to identify student loan scams.