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FAFSA® facts families need to know

Get the financial aid facts on this free application process.

The rising costs of tuition and fees continue to present additional challenges when preparing for college. That's why it's important to explore all financial resources available, especially by completing the FAFSA to apply for student aid opportunities provided by the federal government. Here we'll answer some of your questions about FAFSA and provide details associated with financial aid facts and deadlines.

What is FAFSA?

The acronym FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The program is managed by the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is used to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school. A completed FAFSA is necessary to be eligible to receive federal student aid, but many states and colleges also rely on FAFSA to distribute their own assistance.

Do families need to complete a separate FAFSA for each child?

A separate FAFSA is required for each student every academic year. To fill out the form, each applicant will need to first register for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at

When is the earliest you can complete your FAFSA?

While October 1st is the earliest date to apply, it is a good idea to consider submitting your FAFSA as soon as possible.

When is the FAFSA deadline?

There are several important FAFSA deadlines to be aware of — federal, state and college deadlines. While the federal deadline is June 30th, the deadlines for states and colleges are usually much earlier. It's important to know that a lot of assistance (including federal) is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

What happens after your FAFSA is submitted?

After a FAFSA is submitted, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent electronically from the federal government. It's important to look it over to make sure it is accurate; then complete any tasks listed under "What You Must Do Now."

How to pay for college may seem daunting, but filling out your FAFSA to determine financial assistance eligibility is an important first step. This process may help uncover financial resources needed to address costs for college.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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