FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a very detailed application process to determine your financial need and whether you qualify for federal student financial aid such as grants (which do not have to be paid back), scholarships (also not paid back), loans (paid back with interest) and work studies (wages paid). FAFSA works with the college you plan to attend to review the cost, subtract what they expect you can pay (based on financial data/tax returns you supply) and then determine what aid you will receive. It has to be completed each year you’re in school in order to receive loans and/or aid. The amount can change each year depending on your financial situation. Some of the funds are first come, first served so the earlier you apply, the better your chances to receive aid and the sooner you’ll know how much you’ll receive.