Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, is the first step to qualifying for most forms of financial aid.

The FAFSA offers access to:

  • Federal financial aid, such as Pell grants, Work-Study, and student loans
  • State financial aid, such as the Access Missouri Grant and A+ Scholarship
  • Financial aid from colleges, universities, and other postsecondary schools
  • Some private scholarships and grants

The information you provide on the FAFSA helps determine the types and amounts of financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

Who should file a FAFSA – and when?

Hand writing Priority with blue marker on transparent wipe board.Whether you’re a first-time student, returning student, or transfer student, you should fill out the FAFSA every year you plan to attend college. You do not have to wait to be admitted to college to file a FAFSA.

How to file a FAFSA

Young woman working on computerThe quickest and easiest way to complete the FAFSA is online at or by using the mobile friendly myStudentAid app. Be sure to gather a few key items before you begin the application.

FAFSA Frenzy

Many high schools, colleges, and community organizations in Missouri offer FAFSA Frenzy events to provide free one-on-one assistance to help students and their families complete the FAFSA. 

What to expect after filing a FAFSA

student standing in front of chalkboard with arrows drawn in chalkOnce you have submitted your FAFSA, your information will be sent electronically to the schools you indicated on the application. You should receive a Student Aid Report, which will provide your Expected Family Contribution.