FAFSA and Scholarship Search Tools

Reasons You Should Apply For Financial Aid


(from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/five-reasons-to-apply-for-financial-aid/)

1. You won't know if you qualify unless you apply.

Most parents have no clue if they are eligible for financial aid. It's just about impossible for the typical family to draw any conclusions about their eligibility without actually going through the process. If you don't try, you could be shortchanging yourself tens of thousands of dollars or more.

2. You can't get the best student loans without applying for financial aid.

Without completing the FAFSA, you won't be able to borrow through the federal government. That means you won't be able to access the federal Direct Stafford Loan, which is the superior loan for students. Parents also would be ineligible for the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents.

3. You could qualify for a state grant.

About 17% of college grants come from state governments, but if you don't apply for financial aid you may not qualify. States routinely use FAFSA information when doling out their financial aid cash. Washington has a WASFA for state aid too.

4. Your money is tied up in your house.

Don't assume that you won't qualify for financial aid because you're sitting on a lot of home equity. The FAFSA won't even ask if you own a home. So if you are house rich and cash poor, the FAFSA will give you a break.

5. You have more than one child in college.

Maybe you've decided not to apply for aid because you've been turned down before. Plenty of affluent families who didn't qualify for aid with one child in college, however, can qualify when they're supporting two college students. The amount a college will expect a family to pay at a minimum -- it's called the Expected Family Contribution - will drop by about half when parents have two students in college. 


Students submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. 

Students can submit the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) if you are not eligible to complete the FAFSA due to immigration status, defaulted federal loans, or other issues with federal aid. Learn more and apply on the https://wsac.wa.gov/WASFA.

How to get your PIN – Personal Identification Number, for the FAFSA to apply for financial aid benefits from the federal government, the state, colleges, and many other local programs”

  • It is needed to complete and sign the FAFSA 
  • Both parents AND students sign
  • Apply for your PIN at pin.ed.gov
  •  You’ll use the same PIN for your entire life
  • Will use that same pin every year in school to file the FAFSA 
  • Keep your PIN in a safe place and do not share with anyone 

To apply for the FAFSA-Free Application for Federal Student Aid

  • Go to Fafsa.gov 
  • Fill out and submit the form online
  • Students and Parents work together 
  • Will take ~30 minutes with correct information in front of you 
  • If you have already filed taxes you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool- information is auto filled for you (no mistakes) 
  • List all schools you applied to 


Never pay ANYTHING to file the FAFSA-It's FREE to file!

The Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA

The Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA has 10 clear, user-friendly steps to successfully apply for a student loan.