What is FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by colleges and scholarship organizations to determine eligibility for need-based federal financial aid including grants, work study, and student loans, as well as merit-based scholarships.
To qualify for any, students are often required to complete the FAFSA. This year’s application period launched on October 1. Both new and returning students who plan to attend college between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Be aware of individual college, state and federal deadlines for FAFSA completion deadlines because financial aid funding is limited.
Why should I complete the FAFSA?
Here are a few of the main reasons to apply:
If you want to be eligible for need-based financial aid, or a merit-based scholarship, students are often required to complete the FAFSA, regardless of family income.
Hawai‘i students left $10 million in Pell Grants on the table last year. That’s enough money to send roughly 2,500 students to a University of Hawaii Community College, tuition free!
Completing the FAFSA is a leading indicator of college enrollment. 90% of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA attend college directly from high school compared to just 55% for the students who don’t.
How do I apply for the FAFSA?
Apply here: FAFSA.gov
Have additional questions? Contact your high school to find out about Financial Aid Education Nights, FAFSA Completion Workshops, or appointments you can go to for the help you need.
FAFSA Overview (including determining eligibility)
Types of Federal Student Aid
What to Expect After the FAFSA (making and comparing financial aid offers)
FAFSA.gov: Apply for the FAFSA or learn more about it here.
7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2020-21 FAFSA Form: Get your “ducks in a row” before starting your application by reading this important article.
11 Common FAFSA Mistakes: Save yourself from a headache by avoiding these common mistakes.
College Within Reach: Unsure if going to college is an attainable goal? This website lays out your path to college attendance.
Hawaii P-20: These folks are a valued partner of HIDOE, and help us make sure our students are ready, willing, and able to attend college.
Cash for College: Earn your school cash prizes by completing your FAFSA!
HIDOE FAFSA Data Dashboard: Want to see your school’s FAFSA participation rate, or how they stack up with the others? Visit this page.