Time to get some money


Cindy Macias

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, is an application that provides high school students with financial resources when entering college and furthering their education. The FAFSAs are required by numerous colleges and universities and is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.

Rodas Hailu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 1st, the United States Federal Government released FAFSA, the Free Application for Student Aid for any undergraduates and graduates who desire financial assistance for his or her college years.

The FAFSA does not give students money. Rather, when filling out FAFSA, the federal government first determines the eligibility of the applicant for financial aid. There are several requirements that a student must pass so that the FAFSA considers the student’s financial status. Some of these requirements include:

  • Having a high school diploma or GED.

  • Is a U.S. Citizen.

  • Having a Social Security number.

  • For Males specifically: Registering with the Selective Service System after turning 18.

Once a student passes these and other requirements, then he or she may be eligible for different types of federal student aid. With over $150 billion available in federal aid, FAFSA offers Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Work-Study Program, the latter being the one where students can work part time, while the federal government covers half of the student’s paycheck while the school pays the other half.

College Career Center counselor Ms. Campos advises students to still fill out the FAFSA, regardless of their financial status at home.

“You can’t say ‘My parents make too much money’ until you fill it out,” Campos said. “The less people that apply, the more money that is distributed.”

Although FAFSA is not the only application that is for receiving federal aid, it is by far one of the most applied-to sources. Because of this, over 22 million students apply each year, which means that the sooner a student finishes his or her application, the more financial aid he or she may receive.

Senior Guillermo Villalobos took his time filling out the FAFSA, with the vision of his future in the back of his mind.

“For me, I took it seriously,” Villalobos said. “The process was challenging; it was tiring, but overall it was good.”

Senior Aliee Ramirez felt like filling out the FAFSA was a little baffling, mostly because of the detailed questions asked concerning the parental financial status.

“I’m doing it all alone,” Ramirez said. “All of the information asked is confusing. It took me an hour to start.”

Because the FAFSA is an application for each school year, an applicant must reapply for federal aid if he or she wants to be considered. For students residing in California, the window for filling out FAFSA is open until March.