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FAFSA Data on Applicants Who Were in Foster Care, Were Orphans, or Were Dependents or Wards of the Court

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About the FAFSA

FAFSA stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid". The official FAFSA web address is https://fafsa.gov/.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) provides more than $150 billion in federal aid each year in the form of grants, work-study funds, and loans each year. Completing the FAFSA is the first step toward receiving federal aid for college, career school, or graduate school. In addition, many states and colleges use FAFSA data to determine student eligibility for state and school aid; further, some private financial aid providers may use FAFSA information to determine eligibility for their aid.

Visit FSA's FAFSA: Applying for Aid webpage for more information about FAFSA completion.


About FAFSA Data on Applicants Who Were in Foster Care, Were Orphans, or Were Dependents or Wards of the Court

FSA periodically releases FAFSA data on applicants who were in foster care, were orphans, or were dependents or wards of the court. The FAFSA asks two questions related to these students. The first is asked in order to provide additional information on assistance through federal programs for foster youth. The second is part of a series of questions asked to determine the dependency status of FAFSA applicants.

While this data provides useful insights, it is important to understand what the data does and does not represent. To this end, the U.S. Department of Education includes important clarifying points on page 1 of its UHY FAFSA Data Report. NCHE encourages people seeking to understand the data better and/or referencing the data in publications or talking points to read ED's clarifying points about the data in their entirety.


Download FAFSA Data on Applicants Who Were in Foster Care, Were Orphans, or Were Dependents or Wards of the Court


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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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