Free Resources to Help Students, Families Apply for Federal Financial Aid

Newly Updated Toolkit Helps Unique Populations Avoid Obstacles in the Application Process

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

Jan. 7, 2014 – The new year is upon us, and with it comes the newly updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2014-15 school year—and a new batch of students and families who are wondering how they’ll pay their college costs next year. Although the FAFSA is easier than ever to complete online (, the application process for federal financial aid can still be daunting. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has developed a toolkit of free resources to help students accurately file the FAFSA.

“For some students, like members of the military, wards of the court, foster youth, the undocumented, or other students in nontraditional situations, filling out the FAFSA can prove challenging enough that they throw in the towel and end up missing out on valuable financial aid dollars,” said NASFAA president Justin Draeger. “The financial aid community has created tools to help these unique populations—as well as more traditional students—answer the questions that prove most confusing during the application process.”

These resources provide a wealth of information for students, families and counselors who advise families on paying for college:

  1. 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.
  2. Cash for College gives an overview of the types of aid available and explains how the process works.
  3. 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 offers tips on what documents are necessary for successful FAFSA completion and links to free resources.

More on these resources and other free information about state FAFSA deadlines and creating a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for filing online can be found on the “Students, Parents, and Counselors” section of NASFAA spokespeople are available to provide context about unique student populations and the challenges they face during the federal financial aid process.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the U.S. Based in Washington, DC, 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