Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. You must fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study. New York State and most colleges use your FAFSA to make their financial aid awards as well.
The sooner you fill out your FAFSA, the better. Many types of financial aid are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s to your advantage to file as early as possible. The FAFSA is available Oct. 1st for the following year's financial aid. Filing as soon as it is available ensures you will not miss any deadlines and are considered for all available financial aid.
To help make completing it a breeze, following is an overview of the FAFSA process.