The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell Grant, Federal student loans and Federal Work-Study).

Despite its name, the application is not for a single federal program, being rather the gateway of consideration for:
  • the nine federal student-aid programs
  • the 605 state aid programs
  • most of the institutional aid available

The Department of Education advises students to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), which is made available on the FAFSA. This tool will retrieve most of the student's tax information, excluding wages, directly from the IRS and automatically input the information on his or her application. The DRT may be used for both students and parents alike. http://fafsa.ed.gov/

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