Free Resources Help Students Apply For Financial Aid, Reduce the Cost of College

NASFAA's financial aid experts provide free resources to students, families and financial aid counselors

Contact: Beth Maglione
VP of Communications
(202) 785-6944

JAN. 16, 2013 – January 1 marked the annual release of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), required by colleges and universities across the nation to determine a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid, federal grants and certain institutional aid. The release of the new 2013-14 FAFSA also marks the start of the planning-for-college season. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is pleased to offer resources to provide critical information to all stakeholders in this process.

“This is the season that high school guidance counselors, college financial aid administrators, and community social service agencies are volunteering their expertise at ‘financial aid nights’ across the nation,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “These events educate students and families about using all available student aid opportunities to get a quality higher education without breaking the bank.”

NASFAA offers useful free tools to help each of these key groups.

Resources for students and families: 


  • Cash for College gives an overview of the types of aid available and explains how the process works.
  • Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Student Aid includes information on the most common errors applicants make when completing the FAFSA and how to avoid them. In addition, the publication has tips on what documents are necessary for successful FAFSA completion and links to free resources.
  • Tip Sheets for Unique Student Populations help federal student aid applicants in exceptional situations tackle tricky questions on the FAFSA. NASFAA offers specialized tip sheets for adult learners, single parents, members of the military, wards of the court, foster youth, undocumented students, and more.
  • Application Form Tracking Worksheet helps aid applicants track the various forms and correspondence for each school to which you are applying.
  • Award Package Comparison Worksheet helps you compare the direct costs, indirect costs, scholarships, loans and out of pocket costs on each different financial aid offer you receive.
  • Financial Aid Application Checklist helps you plan what you need to do to apply for and receive financial aid, including tracking all critical state, federal and school deadlines.


Resources for high school and college counselors: 



All of these free resources and many others—including information about state FAFSA deadlines and creating a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for filing online—are available on the “Students, Parents, and Counselors” section of   For more information about a financial aid night scheduled in your area, contact your local college or university’s Office of Financial Aid.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. Each year, financial aid professionals help more than 16 million students receive funding for post-secondary education. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit