Federal Student Loan FAQsEmail This Article
What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is the form students file to apply for federal student aid. Federal student aid incudes both subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS loans, and the Pell and FSEOG grants. Many states and colleges also use the information from a student’s FAFSA to state and institutional aid.
School’s use the FAFSA-determined expected family contribution to determine the amount of type of financial aid you are eligible for.
How do I file the FAFSA?
The most common (and recommended) way to file the FAFSA is electronically. You can do this online by visiting https://studentaid.gov/. You will need to create an FSA ID in order to file the FAFSA electronically.
You may also file the FAFSA via mail by completing the paper FAFSA available here: https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out#options
What is an FSA ID?
An FSA ID acts as your unique user name and password for filing the FAFSA. You will not be able to complete and sign the online FAFSA without it. If you are required to provide parental information, your FAFSA parent will need an FSA ID to sign the application electronically.
Visit https://fsaid.ed.gov to create your FSA ID. You will need your legal name, date of birth, and social security number in order to create your FSA ID.
When is the FAFSA deadline?
The FAFSA for the upcoming school year is released on October 1 each year. The federal FAFSA filing deadline is June 30 of the end of that particular award year. For example, if you are filing the 2019-2020 FAFSA, the deadline is June 30, 2020. If you are filing the 2020-2021 FAFSA the deadline is June 30, 2021.
In general, the most important deadlines are the state or school deadlines. Many states have deadlines of first come, first served. That’s why it is always recommended to file the FAFSA as early as possible to maximize aid.
You can find a list of state deadlines on Edvisors.com. To find your school’s deadline, check their financial aid website.
What is a Parent PLUS Loan?
A parent PLUS loan is a federal student loan available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students (student dependency is determined by the FAFSA, not tax filings). Parent PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and an origination fee and requires your child to file the FAFSA .
Parents who wish to borrow a PLUS loan will need to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application at StudentAid.gov. The parent will need their own FSA ID in order to complete the parent PLUS application online. The other option is to contact your child’s financial aid office.
Eligibility for a parent PLUS loan is not dependent on a borrowers credit score or debt-to-income ratio, however, the borrower may not have an adverse credit history as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information view Introduction to Parent PLUS Loans at Edvisors.com.
What is a grad PLUS Loan?
A grad PLUS loan is a federal student loan available to graduate or professional students. It requires the student to complete the FAFSA and an additional Direct PLUS Loan Application at StudentAid.gov.
Eligibility for a grad PLUS loan is not dependent on a borrower’s credit score or debt-to-income ratio, however, the borrower may not have adverse credit history as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information view Grad PLUS Loans for Graduate Students on Edvisors.com.
What is a federal subsidized loan?
Under the federal student loan program, this is known as a federal Direct Subsidized Loan. This loan is a federal student loan available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. With this type of loan, the federal government pays the loan interest while the student is in school (i.e., there is no interest accumulation while the student is enrolled at least half-time), during the loan’s grace period, or in other authorized periods of deferment.
What is a federal unsubsidized loan?
Under the federal student loan program, this is known as a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This loan is a federal student loan available to undergraduate and graduate students. With this type of loan, the student is responsible for the interest on the loan while in college. If you do not make payments while in school the interest will be added the principal amount upon completion or withdrawal from school.