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What does FAFSA® cover?

By Amira Yahyaoui   |  

Every year, millions of college students and soon-to-be college students submit a FAFSA® (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid provided by the U.S. Department of Education at fafsa.gov) in order to qualify for government grants, scholarships, and student loans to cover the cost of higher education. How much of that cost is covered by financial aid depends on several factors, including the cost of the particular school and which financial aid programs a student is eligible to receive. In addition to the federal government and college financial aid offices, some States offer financial aid to lower-income students that may cover the full cost of attending college without taking on debt.

"Cost of Attendance"

Each college costs a different amount to attend. When you add up the tuition with the costs of books, food, and housing, this is called the "Cost of Attendance" or "COA."

How Aid is Provided to Students

While each college has its own policies governing financial aid, generally speaking aid is first applied to the tuition and fees owed directly to the college. Then, if a student is receiving financial aid over and above the school’s tuition and fees, the student may receive a check or deposit in their bank account for use on education-related expenses, including food, housing, and books.

A Tool to Make It Easier

The Mos financial aid application tool brings together all the eligibility requirements and application procedures for all 500+ Federal and State-based financial aid programs in the country -- and customizes the financial aid questions and explanations to each student’s unique situation. To learn more about out how Mos maximizes your aid, click here!


Have you applied for all the financial aid you qualify for? Only one way to be sure…

Every year, the federal and state governments give out billions of $$$ in financial aid to students to help meet the costs of a college education. Don’t miss out on aid money that could save you or your parents a lot of hard-earned cash over the course of a degree. Mos (at www.mos.com) is the only financial aid tool that combines the applications for all 500+ federal and state financial aid programs into one super easy-to-use interface. Give it a try for free at mos.com and make sure you get all the financial aid money you qualify for today!


As a reminder, federal and state government operate financial aid programs. Many have their own applications, FAFSA® being the most important one. Mos is not affiliated with the Department of Education or any state agencies. Mos helps students with their FAFSA® for free, and the FAFSA® is also always available from fafsa.gov.

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