High school seniors and college students needing student financial aid for fall 2023 can file the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, beginning Oct. 1.
Even students who don’t think they will qualify for financial aid should submit the FAFSA. Rules governing student aid programs sometimes change, and students who don’t file the FAFSA may miss out on free money that could help pay for their education.
The parents or guardians of students considered dependents under federal guidelines must also provide financial information on the FAFSA. This affects most students going directly to college from high school, who are typically considered a dependent.
The FAFSA asks for information about income, assets and expenses. The data provided on the FAFSA determines whether students qualify for federal grants, work-study and loans, as well as several state grants and scholarships. Many colleges also use the FAFSA to award their own grants and scholarships.
Some student aid programs have limited funds and provide awards on a first-come, first-served basis, so students and families should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible.
New FAFSA filing season begins in October