Each school you apply to will likely have different financial aid application requirements. It’s important that you research the requirements for every school on your list. Check each college’s financial aid website for details. And make sure to review our Financial Aid Application Tips.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important application a family can file to be considered for financial aid. It is administered by the U. S. Department of Education, required by all colleges and universities, and has no application fee. You can visit FAFSA.gov to complete the application, which becomes available on October 1st of each year. To preview the questions you’ll see on the FAFSA, you can view the paper version here. To complete the FAFSA, both the student and a parent will need an FSA ID, which can be obtained online at any time. You can learn about creating your FSA ID in our webinar here. If you need assistance with the FAFSA, take advantage of FAFSA Day, a free resource for Massachusetts families. You can also view our webinar, Understanding the FAFSA, or our SlideShare presentation, The FAFSA, Step by Step.

CSS Profile<sup>TM</sup>

The CSS Profile is required by almost 400 colleges, universities, and scholarship organizations, and is used to determine the distribution of an organization’s own financial aid funds. More information is available in our Profile webinar. To complete the application, visit the Profile website.

College or University Financial Aid Application

Some colleges require their own financial aid application in addition to the FAFSA. To find out if a college on your list has an additional application, contact the school’s financial aid office.

After You Apply

What happens after your financial aid applications are submitted? Read about the next steps in the process in our After You Apply details.

FAFSA is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education and PROFILE is a registered trademark of the College Board. MEFA is not affiliated with either organization.