Congratulations on taking steps to continue your education after high school. Now make sure you don’t leave money on the table to pay for it.
The first step is completing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Most Alabama high school seniors qualify for Pell Grants of up to $6,345. Pell Grants do not need to be paid back and can be used at both academic and technical education at two- and four-year colleges and universities.
Cash for College’s goal is for every senior to complete their FAFSA before they graduate from high school so that can access federal, state, and institutional aid to pay for their education after high school. According to the US Department of Education, 9 out of 10 students who complete a FAFSA attend college the following fall.
How can I pay for college?
- Learn about the different types of financial aid, ranging from grants to loans.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.
- Explore scholarships at College Greenlight. Many scholarships require you to complete the FAFSA to qualify.
What is the FAFSA?
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA determines the amount of financial assistance the government and colleges can offer you to help pay for educational programs after high school.
- It is free to complete and can only be completed at fafsa.ed.gov, on the myStudentAid app, or through the official paper application.
- The FAFSA can be completed as early as October 1, 2019 for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize aid. Many colleges have a priority deadline of March 1 for FAFSA completion. Check this list of Alabama colleges and universities’ FAFSA and merit-based scholarship priority deadlines!
I need help completing the FAFSA!
- Ask your school’s counselor or career coach.
- Reach out to your college’s financial aid office.
- Contact Alabama Possible at 205-939-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact Federal Student Aid via chat, call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243), or check their website.
I submitted my FAFSA. Now what?
- Check our blog post with steps to take after filing your application.
- Review your Student Aid Report and make necessary corrections.
- Check to see if you were selected for verification. If you were selected for verification, it does not mean you did anything wrong. It just means that your college’s financial aid office must confirm some of the information on your financial aid form. You will probably need to submit additional documents to verify what’s on your FAFSA.
- Need to update the information you submitted? Some information can be updated on the application. Other information should be updated through the Financial Aid Office of the school you plan to attend.
- Got your financial aid package from your school but need to request a change? Check out SwiftStudent, a tool that helps you write a financial aid appeal letter.