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Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Did you know that it’s easy to apply for federal money to help pay for college? The cost of college can average $10,000-$40,000. That’s a whole lot of money. And that doesn’t include additional expenses like food, books, and gas. Wow! How can you pursue an education when it costs so much money?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an excellent resource to help assist you with the high price of education. Filling out a FAFSA form through the Department of Education is a simple process—it takes less than 30 minutes—but if you’re not sure what you’re doing it can seem a bit daunting. Thankfully we’ve assembled a step-by-step guide for you to use while filling out your FAFSA. And you can do the whole FAFSA process from your personal computer.

What you’ll need: your Social Security number, a list of schools you’re interested in attending, and your date of birth

The FAFSA is a wonderful resource, but it can’t cover the whole cost of college. You are eligible for FAFSA assistance regardless of how long ago you graduated high school or college. Plus, loans through FAFSA will have flexible repayment options that will never change.

Make sure you also check out the benefits available through the Independent Living (IL) Program at https://dss.sc.gov/foster-care/independent-living/, check out the IL Pathways to Success Booklet for details, or ask your caseworker to discuss the opportunities with you. Eligible participants can receive Chafee or ETV grant money to help them with expenses like meal plans, parking fees, or a new computer. Remember: It’s not a handout—these benefits are investments in your future.