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Paying for College

Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)


File the FAFSA earlier!  Students can now file the FAFSA as early as October!  

School Year Student

is Attending College





When Student Can

Submit FAFSA

October 1, 2020

October 1, 2021

October 1, 2022

October 1, 2023

Which Year's Income

Information is Required





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We offer more than $150 billion each year to help millions of students pay for higher education.

Who We Are

Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation.  At the office of Federal Student Aid, our 1,200 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school.  We are proud to sponsor millions of American minds pursuing their educational dreams.


What We Do

Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.  These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.


We ensure students and their families can benefit from these programs by:

  • informing students and families about the availability of the federal student aid programs and the process for applying for and receiving aid from those programs;

  • developing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and processing approximately 22 million FAFSA submissions each yea;

  • accurately disbursing, reconciling, and accounting for all federal student aid funds that are delivered to students each year through more than 6,200 colleges and career schools;

  • managing the outstanding federal student loan portfolio and securing repayment from federal student loan borrowers;

  • offering free assistance to students, parents, and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process; and

  • providing oversight and monitoring of all program participants -- schools, financial entities, and students -- to ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, and policies governing the federal student aid programs.

Financial Aid Resources

The office of Federal Student Aid provides publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources to help you prepare and pay for college or career school.

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