26 Complete the Necessary Forms To receive financial aid, you must complete and submit the necessary forms. If you are eligible for need-based aid, the college’s financial aid office will put together a financial aid package for you. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – Because most financial aid awards are based on need, it's necessary to have a way to deter- mine how much a family can afford to pay for college. The FAFSA is the federal form that’s used to determine this amount. In order to receive any government aid, you must complete a FAFSA. The FAFSA asks for information on income, assets, etc. This information is then applied to a formula, and the amount a family should be able to afford (their Expected Family Contribution or EFC) is calculated. It doesn’t matter how many colleges you are applying to, you and your parents only need to complete one FAFSA. For information on the FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. Pell Grant – When you fill out the FAFSA, you automatically apply for a Pell Grant.This federally funded grant provides billions of dollars each year to low income families. State grants – All states have financial aid programs that award grants to students who attend college in their home state. In most states you apply just by filling out the FAFSA. The college’s financial aid application form – Many colleges have their own financial aid application form that you must complete. The CSS PROFILE – Some colleges and scholarship programs also require completion of the CSS/PROFILE. cssprofile.collegeboard.org Loans– Families who need additional funds to cover college costs often take out a loan. While students with financial need are usually offered a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or a Federal Perkins Loan as part of their financial aid package, students without financial need can apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Parents can also apply for a PLUS Loan.