FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” Federal Student Aid, disbursed by the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest form of student financial aid in the nation. When students submit a FAFSA, they will automatically apply for all federal financial aid options that they may be eligible for, including a Federal Pell Grant, federal work-study and federal student loans. The FAFSA also must be completed to apply for a Cal Grant or a Chafee grant, which is specifically for foster youth.
Applying for federal financial aid is an annual process that can be done online by submitting a FAFSA. Students are encouraged to apply by March 2nd each year for aid for the following fall, but students who miss this deadline should still apply.
March 2nd is also the California priority deadline for processing the FAFSA and for Cal Grant consideration.
To complete the FAFSA go to www.fafsa.gov.
Submitting the FAFSA is FREE. Do not utilize any website which requires users to pay to submit the FAFSA.