Multiple types of financial aid programs are available through successful FAFSA submissions. The most common type of financial aid granted to FAFSA applicants is the Federal Pell Grant, however. Most students who apply for student aid due to financial hardship are considered for Pell Grant funding. The Pell Grants program was created to help undergraduate college applicants in financial need pay for the costs of going to college.

Your financial eligibility is determined by calculating your income combined with the income your parents earn each year. Tax returns are the primary documents used to verify your income level and program eligibility status. Bank accounts, investments and other types of accounts are also commonly used. Exceptions might be made for dependent students, however. If you are a dependent student the income of your parents might not be calculated when determining your eligibility for the Pell Grants program.

Types of Financial Aid Available through the FAFSA Form

Federal student aid loans are also made available to qualified applicants. Recipients of Pell Grant funding do not have to pay the money back to the government provided they use the funds for their intended purposes. Student loans do have to be paid back, however, albeit at discounted interest rates (annual percentage rates or APRs). 

Multiple types of student loans are available, with some purposed for specific types of student demographics. For example, grants and scholarships for women only are available to qualified applicants.

These grants and scholarships are designed for:

• Women re-entering college after taking time off to raise a child or children.

• Women who are single mothers.

• Women who escaped domestically abusive relationships and are pursuing a higher education.

• Women seeking to level the playing field between males and females pursuant to income status and employment opportunities.

Filling out the FAFSA form also gives you potential access to scholarships, grants and student loans for minorities. African American, Asian-American, Latino, and multiple other minority student demographics might all be qualified to receive federal funding to help pay for school.

African Americans might receive grant funding from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Jackie Robinson Foundation programs. The American Indian College Fund helps qualified American Indian and Alaska Native college student candidates pay for some of the costs associated with attending college. Certain Hispanic students might be qualified to obtain free money for college using the FAFSA form from organizations such as the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards and Hispanic Scholarship Consortium programs.

As you can see, the FAFSA form is an excellent tool for students from all types of demographics looking for assistance in paying for college tuition and additional education-related expenses. Applicants need an FSA ID to apply, however, in addition to meeting deadlines and general application requirements. Continue reading to learn how to apply using the FAFSA form today.