Frustrated young man at laptop

Hoping to Go to College? FAFSA is Your Friend


What’s FAFSA? It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and for those who are planning to go to college, or exploring available resources to make college a possibility, it has to get filled out. There is plenty of help available in the community for anyone struggling to get the form completed.

What’s FAFSA?

The FAFSA is completed online and requires parents’ and students’ financial information. The FAFSA is what determines Pell Grants and other federal subsidies and it is often what colleges and universities use to determine Expected Family Contribution.

Who gets Financial Aid?

The Washington Post reported on January 23, 2024, “Under the new law, families earning less than 175 percent and student parents earning less than 225 percent of the federal poverty line will automatically qualify for the maximum Pell Grant, valued at $7,395 for the current academic year. In all, more than 5.2 million students could now be eligible for a full Pell — an increase of about 1.5 million students, according to the Education Department.”

The federal poverty line is $30,000 for a family of four, according to The rate changes based on family size.

Who fills out the FAFSA?

To fill out the FAFSA, the student and any “contributors” (parents) need to create a account. This means both parents and the student need to cooperate to fill out the FAFSA.

Need help with the FAFSA?

There are resources that can help college-hopeful students and their families get the FAFSA completed and get closer to making college a financial reality.

The Athletic Factory in Port Huron is hosting a series of workshops to assist in FAFSA completion. The workshops are on Saturdays, January 27th and February 3, 10, and 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their Port Huron location.

The Blue Water College Access Network also provides resources with virtual workshops on February, 8th, 27th, and 29th. St. Clair County Community College will have Financial Aid Night on January 31st at 6:30 p.m. in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre, and a webinar on February 1st at 7 p.m. Some events require registration. All are free and open to the public.

For – Jennie McClelland