The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) offers over $150 billion in grants, loans, and work study programs to more than 13 million college students.  Eligibility depends on family size and assets.  The purpose of the FAFSA is to help bridge the gap between a college's total cost and what the family is expected to pay.  As an example, if a school costs $40,000 each year, FAFSA may decide that the family can pay $15,000.  The FAFSA, combined with the college, may help bridge the gap of $25,000.
    Still, students must often take out additional loans to help make up the difference.  There are state loans, private loans, parent loans and student loans.  Families should not disqualify a college based solely on sticker price.  Often schools can offer scholarships and other aid packages to make their school more affordable.
    Never pay a fee to complete the FAFSA.  It is a free document.  There are websites available based on internet searches which can take parents to companies that charge a fee.  The FAFSA website is fafsa.ed.gov.  Again, the FAFSA is a free document!
    PHEAA (The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) offers "Completion Help Events" to assist in filling out the FAFSA.  Please visit the web page of your home school district to find a FAFSA Completion event near you. There are also video tutorials at YouTube.com/PHEAAstudentAid.  At Facebook.com/pheaa.aid, there is additional information about FAFSA Completion Sessions, financial aid deadlines, and general information.