Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application that you must complete to determine your eligibility for federal, state, or institutional student aid, such as Federal Pell Grant and federal work-study opportunities. Complete the FAFSA even if you are not sure that you are eligible for aid. You could be eligible for more than you expect.
Need help completing the FAFSA?
Attend our FAFSA Workshop and get assistance from a Central Piedmont financial aid expert.
About the FAFSA
The FAFSA determines families’ eligibility for federal grants, federal work-study, low-interest student loans, and some scholarships. It is tough to predict exactly how much money your family will receive, but complete the FAFSA even if you are not sure you will get financial aid. If you wish to apply for Central Piedmont scholarships and many other scholarships, you need to complete the FAFSA. Additionally, if your family’s financial situation changes while you are in school, it will be easier to determine if you qualify for any resources if you have completed the FAFSA.
FAFSA Simplification Act and 2024-25 FAFSA
FAFSA is changing for the 2024-25 academic year. The FAFSA itself will be simplified and is planned to open December 2023, instead of October as in past years.
Visit FAFSA Simplification and Changes to learn more.
How is the FAFSA used?
Your FAFSA is also used to determine whether you’re eligible for other financial aid, such as many need-based scholarships. To determine your eligibility for financial aid and your financial aid award, we calculate your demonstrated financial need. Need is the difference between the cost of education and what you and your parents might reasonably be expected to contribute to meet college costs. Due to the availability of funds, state grants, federal work-study, and scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis based off the priority date. These contributions are determined by using the federal methodology as administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The expected parental and student contributions are calculated based on the financial information provided by parents and students on the FAFSA and a Federal Income Tax Return. The analysis system attempts to judge how much a family can realistically afford to contribute, not how much they will pay. The system is concerned with objective facts of a family's financial position and not with the family's financial practices. The analysis procedure is used to determine an expected family contribution based not only upon income, but upon a variety of other variables as well, such as family size, number of family members attending college, taxes paid, investments, and so forth.
If you are classified as a dependent student by FAFSA guidelines, but you consider yourself to be an independent student, you can apply for financial aid as an independent student only in extreme cases. Examples of this would be the death of your parents, or cases of abuse or neglect by your parents. Documentation of your situation is required and you must show how you currently meet your living expenses.
Note that all financial aid awards are subject to verification for accuracy. Adjustments may be needed after documents are submitted.
Apply Early and On Time
The FAFSA is now easier to file and available early, giving you a better opportunity to receive federal funds for school. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) today. The Central Piedmont School Code is 002915. Be sure to complete the financial aid process by the Central Piedmont financial aid office's suggested deadlines. You will not be considered for any financial aid or scholarships until all required documents are completed and returned to the Central Piedmont financial aid office. Applying early will allow you to submit the FAFSA as early as October 1 using prior year information. Applying earlier will allow you to ensure classes are covered by financial aid much sooner, and will help you avoid processing delays.
Paper applications are being phased out and are no longer available in the financial aid office. You may request a paper FAFSA by contacting 1.800.433.3243 (1.800.4FED AID).