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What is the FAFSA®?

The FAFSA® is the federal government's application form for student financial aid. 

It stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and includes questions about you (name, address, social security number, family information, etc.) and about your financial circumstances (income, asset, and tax information, etc.).  The U.S. Department of Education makes the FAFSA® available for free on their website at and maintains a help page at

Mos is a user-friendly financial aid tool that breaks financial aid questions into intuitive parts, allows you to track your deadlines and progress, and will also help you submit your FAFSA® for free.  

In order to apply for student aid from the federal government, such as the Pell Grant, work-study, or federal loans, you must submit a FAFSA®.  Many states and colleges also use the information submitted on the FAFSA® to make their own financial aid award decisions.  (See our FAQ on "What is financial aid and how does it work?" for more information.)