FAFSA Workshops Make a Difference

By Jeannine Huenemann | September 8, 2022

For college-bound high school seniors, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important step to qualifying for federal, state, and college financial aid support. GEAR UP schools know this. That is why we have compiled a list of online resources to make hosting a workshop easier.

Screenshot of the FAFSA Website

Completing the FAFSA form is the most vital step in applying for federal grants, work-study, and loans for college

Reapplying to FAFSA every year for help paying for college with grants (Makana at UVU)

FAFSA helped Joe get financial aid to pay for housing at USU (Joe, a GEAR UP mentor)

GEAR UP helped her with FAFSA via email or text and  her information for the future (Jackie, a GEAR UP alum)

Starting Oct. 1, current and prospective college students and their families can complete FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The “F” in FAFSA stands for free which means that you never have to pay for the application. Filling it out makes it possible for students to access their share of $150 billion in federal student aid, including grants, loans and work-study, for the upcoming school year.

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA is a financial aid form administered by the U.S. Department of Education that helps students qualify for loans and financial aid. Household data from the FAFSA, such as annual income and savings, is used to determine how much a family could pay toward college. Colleges also receive data from the FAFSA, which serves as the basis for their financial aid offers to applicants, as well as state agencies.

Why is FAFSA important?

FAFSA is a critical step in getting financial aid for college, whether or not students think they are eligible. Completing the FAFSA early and correctly helps students qualify for loans and financial aid to pay for college. Many universities award financial aid on a first-come-first-served basis. This means that the sooner students and families apply, the better chance they have to receive available grants, scholarships, and loans.

When should students complete the FAFSA?

Students and families should plan to fill out the FAFSA as soon as they can. Completing it earlier lets students focus on college and scholarship applications, and prepare to more accurately compare the costs of the colleges they are considering. There may also be some scholarships that use FAFSA results to determine need.

Want to host a FAFSA event at your school?

It is USU STARS! GEAR UP program’s mission is to expand the college-bound culture in Utah by providing financial aid information to students and families. That is why we have compiled a list of links to help get you started. We invite counselors and GEAR UP site coordinators to help us grow this list.

FAFSA Filing:

Toolkits, presentations, tips, and printed materials:

Video Resources:

*See changes to the 2023-24 FAFSA application process.

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