UCSB Financial Aid Office Creates Online Tutorial for Federal Student Aid Form

The Office of Financial Aid at UC Santa Barbara has created an online tutorial to assist current and prospective students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine a student's eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.

"8 Easy Steps to the FAFSA: Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid," is designed to help prospective students complete the 2009-10 FAFSA in eight clear and easy-to-understand steps. It can be found at www.finaid.sa.ucsb.edu/Media/FAFSASimplification/index.html.

The deadline for submitting a 2009-10 FAFSA for UCSB financial aid is March 2, 2009.

"The topic of simplifying the FAFSA process has been gaining momentum in Washington over the years and we saw a perfect opportunity to think outside the box and try something that had never been done before," Mike Miller, associate director of operations for the UCSB Office of Financial Aid, said of the tutorial. "All of the feedback that we have received to date has been very positive and several institutions across the nation are now using the tutorial."

According to Miller, a Spanish language version of the tutorial is expected to be available at the end of February.

To determine the kind and amount of financial aid for which a student is eligible, the U.S. Department of Education conducts a "need analysis" using the financial information included on the FAFSA. The analysis considers factors, such as income, assets, and other household information, which the student and his or her parents are asked to provide. The completed form is then submitted to a federal processor contracted by the Department of Education, and results are electronically transmitted to the financial aid offices of the schools listed on the student's application.

Even students who don't qualify for need-based financial aid must complete a FAFSA in order to be considered for most federal student loans. Nearly every student is eligible for some form of financial aid, including low-interest Federal Stafford and/or parent PLUS loans, regardless of income or circumstances.

Related Links

UCSB Office of Financial Aid
8 Easy Steps to Completing the FAFSA

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