What Is FAFSA?

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It’s time we go toe to toe with one of the monsters under your bed—the FAFSA! If you know what FAFSA is, you know it’s annoying. If you don’t know what it is, you will at some point. But don’t stress, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s a mouthful! But in reality, it’s just a fancy name for some paperwork. You just have to fill in the boxes, and it shows you the monies you can get to help pay for college.

The FAFSA qualifies you for money, like grants and scholarships. It also shows you how much in student loans you can get. Now hit the brakes!! Student loans aren’t free money, you pay those bad boys back…with interest. So be sure you’re being smart about how you use them.

Here’s the little secret the FAFSA people don’t want you to know—it’s actually super easy. Yeah it’s an old way of doing things and the system’s not perfect, but you can use that to your advantage if you just sit down and get it done early. Talk to your career counselor, hit up Google, or check out the links we have below for ways to beat the system and make the FAFSA work for you.

It’s your future, don’t let 5 capital letters get in your way.

Check out our FAQ with topics like What is FAFSA? Or What is the Difference Between an Unsubsidized Loan, a Subsidized Loan, and a Private Loan?  You can also explore our FutureHacker tool with a list of programs that accept FAFSA.

HELP FROM BUCK
Where to do the FAFSA: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

College is freaking expensive. But there is help. Learn more about student aid: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/

The Seven Things you need before filling out the FAFSA (Don’t forget your PIN): http://blog.ed.gov/2013/12/7-things-y…

Ten awesome tips to help you crush the FAFSA: http://blog.chegg.com/2014/01/30/top-…

To lighten things up here’s a really really really terrible FAFSA “Thrift Shop” parody: https://youtu.be/m0vWcchem54