Financial Aid

Financial Aid

FAFSA® Form Becomes Available in December - Apply Early!

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education rewards over $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to more than 13 million students. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the only way to apply for federal, state, and college aid. It is completely free and it typically takes ONLY 30 minutes to complete. Students may submit their FAFSA starting in December of their senior year. Many schools offer money on a first-come-first-serve basis, so the sooner one applies, the better. 
Grants are financial aid that does not need repaid. The most common grant is the Pell Grant which is currently capped at $7,395. If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, there is a high probability that you will receive some amount of the Pell Grant. There are many other grants that you may qualify for as well.
Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Two common types of loans from FAFSA are unsubsidized or subsidized. Subsidized loans are available to students with financial need. Interest does not accrue until you start making payments, six (6) months after graduation. Unsubsidized loans are available to all students regardless of financial need. However, interest starts to accrue the second the money is disbursed.
Work Study
Work Study is a work program through which one earns money to help pay for school. It is typically part time employment. One can work on campus or off campus at a non-profit organization. One must demonstrate financial need to qualify and the college one attends must participate in the Federal Work Study Program.

Arizona Promise Program

The Arizona Promise Program opens the door of opportunity to students from low-income families. With a guaranteed scholarship for eligible students to cover Arizona public university tuition and fees, higher education will be more accessible and affordable for more Arizona students and their families.

To qualify, a student must:
  • Be an Arizona resident
  • Graduate from an Arizona high school with a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 of senior year of high school
  • Qualify for ANY federal Pell Grant; timely complete the FAFSA application each year for renewal
  • Be admitted and enroll as a first-time, full-time, on-campus degree seeking student at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, or the University of Arizona, in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation (Some gaps in enrollment, such as military service, may be allowed. Please check with the universities.)

FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Seniors may apply for Federal Financial Aid starting in December. Students should apply as soon as possible. To be given the greatest consideration for aid, check with student’s future school’s priority deadlines:
  * Check with each school's Financial Aid Office. 
** If your college isn’t listed, check their website.
Each student and parent will need an FSA ID which can be obtained prior to December. Students can view the flyers below regarding the steps involved:
Beginning in December, students can log in and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at This determines a student’s eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loan programs. The FAFSA is often used to determine state and institutional aid as well.
Once completed, students should hear back from the U.S. Department of Education in a couple of weeks. Students will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report). Any necessary changes can be made on the FAFSA website.
Students may be asked by one or more schools to verify information submitted on the FAFSA. Simply complete the paperwork and send it back to the school(s) as soon as possible.
Students will receive award letters from each college that received the student’s FAFSA information. The letter will address the financial aid package students could receive by that school. The financial aid package may include grants, work study, and loans. It may also show scholarships from that school that students would be awarded.  
*** There are many scholarship search sites out there if you are interested in looking for more scholarships. Remember, you should not pay any money for a search.

Project Benjamin – Student FASFA Assistance

Project Benjamin utilizes AI Technology with its open bot platform to help students get answers to their FAFSA questions instantly, just “Ask Benji”. Benji the chatbot has been programmed with more than 600 different types of responses to the questions students and parents may have while they are working through their FAFSA. As more Arizona students use this service, Benji will learn and be able to respond to more questions and unique circumstances. 

This is not an app. There is no download required. To use, a student or parent simply starts a texting conversation with their cell phone. Users can text Benji at 602.786.8171 on any texting platform. Once a user has texted Benji, he will respond to the dialogue with answers to questions or links to resources. Benji is not fluent in Spanish yet, but will be able to direct users to some Spanish language resources on FAFSA and financial aid. Benji will be ready for questions on October 1st! In order to send targeted campaigns to students about events in their school or district, Benji will also capture data such as name, high school, and graduation year in order to group users and send timely, relevant nudges. 

  • Immediate, expert assistance for students and parents 
  • It is conversational, meaning it feels like you are talking to a friend 
  • Benji will send nudges for upcoming FAFSA events, priority deadlines, etc. 
  • That students will feel empowered to complete their FAFSA 
  • To reduce the anxiety around completing the FAFSA 
  • To help students see the potential of a post-secondary education

Printable (PDF) >


How to Create a FSA ID

FAFSA: Apply Early!

FAFSA Assistance

Arizona Promise Program

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