As college application season is fully underway, it is important to learn about the primary financial aid applications and types of aid your student could receive. The two most common applications used by colleges across the US are the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE, and they need to be filed prior to each year the student plans on attending college.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the standard form used by all schools to determine the amount of federal aid a student will receive. The application opens on October 1 each year and closes the following June 30. The FAFSA calculates the EFC (Expected Family Contribution), what the government considers a reasonable amount the family should be able to contribute to the student's educational costs whether or not a parent wants to contribute to their child's education.