FAFSA Hawaii

Millions of dollars that can be used for college are "left on the table" each year because students do not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All high school seniors are encouraged and supported by their high schools to complete the FAFSA because it increases college access. Learn more about FAFSA by exploring the resources below.

What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by colleges and scholarship organizations to determine eligibility for need-based federal financial aid including grants, work-study, and student loans. To qualify for financial aid and some merit scholarships, students are required to complete the FAFSA. The application opens on October 1 for both new and returning college students who plan to attend college in the fall semester of the following year. Due to the new changes to the FAFSA application, the exact date it will open has not yet been released but is projected to open sometime in December. Students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Be aware of individual college, state, and federal deadlines for FAFSA completion because financial aid funding is limited and given out on a first-come-first-served basis.

Why should I complete the FAFSA?

Here are a few of the main reasons to apply:

  1. If you want to be eligible for need-based financial aid, or a merit-based scholarship, students are often required to complete the FAFSA, regardless of family income.

  2. The FAFSA provides access to over $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds from the federal government.

  3. Completing FAFSA increases college access. The High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 found that students from the lowest socioeconomic measure who completed a FAFSA were 127% more likely to be enrolled in college the first fall after high school graduation than their counterparts who did not complete a FAFSA.

How do I apply for the FAFSA?

Apply here: Studentaid.gov

Have additional questions? Contact your high school to find out about the Financial Aid and FAFSA Workshops they offer. See your school counselor for help. Or email FAFSA@hawaii.edu with your questions and a local FAFSA specialist from the University of Hawaii System will help answer your questions no matter which college you plan to attend.

FAFSA Overview (including determining eligibility)

Types of Federal Student Aid



What to Expect After the FAFSA (making and comparing financial aid offers)
Determining Your Dependency Status


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