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. 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.

To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid):

Why should I fill out the FAFSA®?
If you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid! We’ve heard a number of reasons students think they shouldn’t complete the FAFSA. Here are a few:

  • “I (or my parents) make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”
  • “Only students with good grades get financial aid.”
  • “The FAFSA is too hard to fill out.”
  • “I’m too old to qualify for financial aid.”

If you think any of these statements apply to you, then you should read “Myths About Financial Aid.” The reality is, EVERYONE who's getting ready to go to college or career school should fill out the FAFSA!

When do I fill out the FAFSA®?

The 2016–17 FAFSA has been available since Jan. 1, 2016, and the 2017–18 FAFSA will launch on Oct. 1, 2016.

There are different FAFSA deadlines for different programs:

Aid Program Deadline Information

Federal student aid

For the 2016–17 year, you can apply between Jan. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. (For the 2017–18 year, you will be able to apply between Oct. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018.) However, there are a few federal student aid programs that have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can once the FAFSA is available for the year you’ll be attending school.

State student aid

You can find state deadlines at or on the paper or PDF FAFSA.

College or career school aid

Check the school’s website or contact its financial aid office. School deadlines are usually early in the year (often in February or March).

Other financial aid

Some programs other than government or school aid require that you file the FAFSA. For instance, you can’t get certain private scholarships unless you’re eligible for a Federal Pell Grant—and you can’t find out whether you’re eligible for a Pell Grant unless you file a FAFSA. If the private scholarship’s application deadline is in early to mid-January, you’ll need to submit your FAFSA before that deadline.

As you can see, it’s a good idea to file the FAFSA as soon as it’s available so you don’t miss out on anything.

You have to fill out the FAFSA® every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid.

Can I get an early estimate of my aid?

You sure can! If you’re not ready to file a FAFSA, you can use FAFSA4caster to estimate your federal student aid.

How do I fill out the FAFSA®?

There are several ways to file:

  • Online at is faster and easier than using paper.
  • If you need a paper FAFSA, you can
  • Ask the financial aid office at your college or career school if you can file it there. Some schools will use special software to submit your FAFSA for you.               

Need some tips on filling out the FAFSA? We’ve got them! 

What happens after I fill out the FAFSA®?

Applying isn’t the last step; your FAFSA has to be processed, and then you get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which your college or career school uses to figure out how much aid you can get. Find out more about what happens after you fill out the FAFSA, including how aid is calculated and when and how you’ll get your aid.


The Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA), administers a variety of state-funded grants and scholarships to assist Florida residents with the cost of their postsecondary education. Those grants and scholarships include:
        -Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) Grant
        -Bright Futures Scholarship
        -First Generation Matching Grant
        -Florida Incentive Scholarship
        -Florida Fund for Minority Teachers
        -Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG)
        -Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG)
        -Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant
        -Florida Work Experience Program
        -José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant
        -Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship
        -Rosewood Family Scholarship
        -Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans

DEADLINE:  You may apply for 2017-18 state scholarships and grants, which includes Bright Futures for 2017 graduates, beginning December 1, 2016



The sites in this section require you to create a profile, and based on attributes such as strengths, interests, skills, and personal & academic information, the site will search for scholarships.

Please understand that these sites provide you with the scholarship information; you are responsible for actually applying for the scholarship.

1. Fastweb
Scholarships based on your strengths, interests, and skills.


2. College Board’s Scholarship Search
Scholarships based on personal and academic information, type of award, and affiliation information.


3. Sallie Mae Scholarship Search


Complete the free profile; search for scholarships based on that profile information. 

5. Student Scholarship Search

6. CareerOneStop

529 College Savings Plan

Click here for more info!