Are You Qualified To Apply For Financial Aid?

College is pricey. Reports show that 95% of low-income students are unable to afford the expenses that come with pursuing a degree. This limits opportunities for better careers and financial stability.

But there’s still hope! You may be eligible to receive more financial aid than you realize. Look through this checklist to see if you qualify for federal financial assistance to help you pay for your degree.

Financial Need

When you apply for financial aid, you provide information about what your total potential cost of attendance will be in comparison to the contribution that you expect to have from your family. These attributes are abbreviated as your COA (cost of attendance) and EFC (expected family contribution). If you can demonstrate that you’re in need of financial support in order to afford school expenses, you may be able to receive more grants.

Accepted Enrollment

An obvious step in receiving financial aid is being accepted into an eligible college. Without being accepted into a school, you won’t know the exact COA that determines your level of financial need. Apply for the programs you’d like to be a part of so that you can realistically compare and contrast your options.

Fill Out Your FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form that students must fill out annually in order to prove their financial need by providing income and tax information. Your FAFSA also requires you to sign agreements that outline how your grant is to be used if you’re able to receive one. If you still need to fill yours out, you can apply online at this site.


In order to benefit from this federal aid, U.S. citizenship and a valid social security number are typically required for applicants. However, there are exceptions for non-citizens listed here. If you are a permanent resident or an eligible noncitizen, you can still apply for this financial assistance.

Eligible Program

Not every college is eligible to receive federal financial aid for their students through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Check out this list of affiliated schools to find out how your state of residence distributes this funding to university students.