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FAFSA and Finance

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine eligibility for federal, state and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for federal financial aid. 


Before You Begin

Financial aid applications require a transcript. Request a transcript through the College and Financial Aid Advisor at East. 


Before you start, familiarize yourself with the Federal Student Aid program, a part of the U.S. Department of Education and the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. 


Next Steps

  1. Fill out the FAFSA form The FAFSA form includes federal grants, loans, and work-study funds. 

  2. Go to a FAFSA meeting at the beginning of senior year. Here students will obtain a FAFSA number, which is required to fill out the application.

  3. Obtain an EFC (Expected Family Contribution). FAFSA will determine the student's EFC. Students need an EFC code for Naviance.

  4. Each fall, there are 'FASFA Nights' for parents, students and mentors at East. Mentors should check the East website for dates and, if possible, attend with their student and parents. Parents will need to bring their most recent tax return and other documentation. There will be bi-lingual assistance at this meeting.

  5. Note filing deadlines. Most post-secondary institutions have a FAFSA filing deadline, some as soon as the first few weeks in January. It is strongly recommended that students check with the each college or university's financial aid office to determine the FAFSA deadline requirements.  


A student may be offered loans as part of a financial aid offer. Students can take loans from private agencies or the federal government.  Discourage students from accepting private student loans, most of which have higher and more variable interest rates and require students to start repaying their loans immediately after graduation. In contrast, government loans typically have a fixed interest rate, which means that the student agrees to the loan's interest rate and then pays this rate until the loan is retired. Low-income students may qualify for a subsidized loan where the government pays the interest as long as the student is enrolled. More information on the Federal Student Aid website.


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