Federal Student Aid (FSA) is an office of the U.S. Department of Education that provides student financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funds. The FSA’s mission is to help make higher education accessible to all eligible students by providing financial aid that is based on financial need.


Grants are need-based financial aid that does not have to be repaid. They are awarded to students based on their financial need and the availability of funds. Some of the most common types of federal grants include:

  • Pell Grants
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants


Loans are financial aid that must be repaid with interest. They are available to students of all financial backgrounds. Some of the most common types of federal loans include:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Parent PLUS Loans


Work-study is a program that allows students to work part-time to earn money to help pay for their education. The program is available to students who demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply for Federal Student Aid

To apply for federal student aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The FAFSA is a form that collects information about the student’s finances and family income. This information is used to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Tips for Applying for Federal Student Aid

  • Start early. The sooner you apply for federal student aid, the more likely you are to receive the full amount of aid for which you are eligible.
  • Complete the FAFSA® accurately and on time. Errors on the FAFSA® can delay or even prevent you from receiving financial aid.
  • Keep track of your deadlines. There are many deadlines associated with federal student aid, so it is important to keep track of them.
  • Ask for help if you need it. There are many resources available to help students apply for and receive federal student aid.

The FAFSA® Form’s launch in 2024–2025

The 2024–2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form will see significant updates and modifications. By December 31, 2023, the FAFSA form will have been simplified and modernized.

What You Must Learn Right Now
The eligibility for federal student aid will be expanded with the 2024–2025 FAFSA form.

Due to revisions in student assistance calculations, 610,000 more students from low-income families will be qualified for Federal Pell Grants.

Get an early estimate of your potential federal student aid after submitting the updated form by using the Federal Student Aid Estimator.

For students and their families, the FAFSA form of 2024–2025 will provide a fresh, simplified user experience.

Candidates may choose to omit up to 26 FAFSA questions, according on their unique situation. In less than ten minutes, some applicants will only need to answer eighteen questions.

To learn more about the changes made to the new form, view our playlist titled “2024–25 FAFSA FAQs.”

How You Can Act Right Now

  • Not filed an FAFSA for 2023–2024? In order to access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form when it becomes available, make sure to create your StudentAid.gov account and keep in mind your username and password.
  • Determine whether your spouse or parent(s) must provide information on your FAFSA form.
  • If your spouse or parent(s) must contribute to your form, make sure they all set up accounts on StudentAid.gov. Upon the 2024–25 form’s launch, contributors will have the option to register even in the absence of a Social Security number.
  • See what data and paperwork you’ll need to complete the FAFSA form by watching our “Getting Ready for the FAFSA Form” playlist.

Remain Aware

Get notifications and information on the most recent changes to the FAFSA for 2024–2025.

For 2023–2024, did you submit an FAFSA form? Students (and parents of dependent students) who applied on the 2023–24 form are being reminded to apply on the 2024–25 form through emails. Log in to your StudentAid.gov account and make sure we have your current email address on file to guarantee you receive future updates.

Follow Federal Student Aid on social media to receive announcements and resources, such as notifications when the updated FAFSA application becomes accessible for completion.


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