This article is from the Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Fellowships FAQ, by Mark Kantrowitz with numerous contributions by others.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a prerequisite for
applying for federal and state aid, as well as many college aid
programs. You can obtain a copy of the form from your high school
guidance counselor, your college financial aid administrator, or your
local public library. You can also complete the form online, at
and get your results back quicker than with the paper form. Questions
about the form should be directed to 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Some colleges will require their own forms, the CSS PROFILE form, or
special supplemental forms.
To apply for private sector scholarships, visit the FastWeb site at
FastWeb provides the best free scholarship search. It compares your
profile against a large database of scholarships, providing your with
a list of matching awards. You will then need to write to the
scholarship sponsors to obtain current application materials. In some
cases you will be able to apply directly online through
FastWeb. FastWeb also provides a college search database and other