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

Contact: Haley Chitty
Director of Communications
(202) 785-6959 

Financial aid experts provide resources to help students and families reduce their out-of-pocket costs 

WASHINGTON, DC, JANUARY 24, 2012 - For thousands of American families, January is the month for setting resolutions, recovering from the holidays… and starting to think about paying for college next year. 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 federal government distributes billions of dollars every year to help students and families pay for college, but getting your share of that money may seem daunting because the system can be complex. The good news is, it’s easier than ever to apply for federal student aid. The 2012-13 online application form uses new skip-logic, making the FAFSA easier to complete online. And if you have already filed a 2011 income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can auto-populate your FAFSA with accurate tax information by using the new IRS Data Retrieval Tool through

“Students and families can get a quality higher education without breaking the bank by taking advantage of student aid opportunities—and NASFAA offers some useful resources to guide them through the process,” said NASFAA president Justin Draeger.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has developed three free resources to help students accurately file the FAFSA.  These resources provide a wealth of information for students, families and counselors who advise families trying to pay for college.

  1. Cash for College gives an overview of the types of aid available and explains how the process works.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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   


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at 2,800 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