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FAFSA or the GI Bill. Which one?

Why should you fill out the FAFSA if you’re already getting the GI Bill? That’s a good question. It is likely you’ll be able to accomplish your education goals if you have the full 36 months of your GI Bill to use. However, filling out the FAFSA can make a very large difference. It is the only way to apply for the Pell Grant, and it is necessary to file for most other scholarships.  Following are five good reasons to go ahead and fill it out.

Access to Financial Aid: Filling out the FAFSA is the first step to access financial assistance for your college education. By completing this form, you provide information about your family’s financial situation, which is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines your eligibility for need-based financial aid programs.

Grants and Scholarships: The FAFSA allows you to be considered for various grants and scholarships. Grants are typically awarded based on financial need and do not need to be repaid. Scholarships, on the other hand, are often awarded based on academic, athletic, or other achievements. Both grants and scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of your education.

Work-Study Programs: The FAFSA also helps determine your eligibility for work-study programs. These programs provide part-time employment opportunities on campus or with approved off-campus organizations. Work-study jobs can help you earn money to cover your educational expenses and gain valuable work experience.

Federal Student Loans: If you need to borrow money to pay for college, filling out the FAFSA is necessary to qualify for federal student loans. Federal loans often have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options compared to private loans. The FAFSA helps determine the amount you’re eligible to borrow based on your financial need.

State and Institutional Aid: Many states and colleges use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for their own financial aid programs. By completing the FAFSA, you can potentially access additional aid opportunities offered by your state or the college you plan to attend.

So you see, even if you are attending college on the GI Bill, filling out the FAFSA opens the door to other financial benefits. Besides, you’re not limited to just using the GI Bill. If you apply for and receive more scholarships, the money can be used for other education expenses such as books, computers, and a host of other things.

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