Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships help make college or career school affordable.

How Financial Aid Works
For most students planning to attend college or career school, financial aid is essential. has a site that will walk you through how financial aid works, resources to pay for college, and loan repayment options. 
Monthly Scholarship and/or Prize drawing(s):

New Mexico High School Seniors (residents of NM) can register to win a $500 scholarship and/or prizes. High school seniors that register will be entered into a monthly, random drawing. To be eligible to win, student(s) must have completed the FAFSA, and show proof of completion within the drawing month. A student can only win once a year (Oct 1, 2020 –Sept 30, 2021). The first scholarship will be drawn on November 2nd, 2020 and subsequent monthly drawings will be held for the 2021-22 FAFSA cycle. The last eligible drawing for this FAFSA cycle will be in July of 2021. The $500 scholarships are for the fall of 2021 enrollment at any title IV eligible college, university, or trade school.

"It's never too early—or too late—to explore your options for college or career school. This site discusses key steps in preparing for college and provides resources that can help you along the way."

*If you’re a male between the ages of 18 and 25 and you haven’t registered with the Selective Service System, select “Yes” when you’re asked if you would like to be registered. Otherwise, you won’t be eligible to receive federal student aid. This requirement applies to any person assigned the sex of male at birth.

The Federal Student Aid website provides these checklists for high school students that plan on attending college and using federal assistance.

High School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that help the student focus on succeeding academically and learning about financial aid and provide the parent with tips for supporting the student and participating in the financial aid application process.

Source: Federal Student Aid (

What is the FAFSA?

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. Additionally, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid.

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.

  • Have a valid Social Security Number (Students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are exempt from this requirement).

  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling. If you don’t, you may still be eligible for federal student aid if you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012. Go to for additional information

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.

  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.

  • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loan). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.

Other requirements may apply. Contact the financial aid office at your college for more information.

What is a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, and will I need it to complete the FAFSA?

The FSA ID allows students and parents to identify themselves electronically to access FSA Websites. While you are not required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit a FAFSA on the web application, it is the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It is also the only way to access or correct your information online, or to pre-fill a FAFSA on the web application with the information from your previous year’s FAFSA.

If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create an FSA ID online at

Which FAFSA do I need to fill out?

If you are applying for financial aid for the 2020/2021 school year, you should file a 2020/2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you plan to attend summer classes, you should contact your college’s financial aid office to determine which application they accept for summer sessions. - Contact your college's financial aid office if you are unsure at any time. Colleges will often have different deadlines.

What will I need to fill out the FAFSA?

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number

  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

  • Your federal income tax returns, W-2’s, and other records of money earned. Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable).

  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.

If you are a DEPENDENT STUDENT, then you will also need the above information for your parent (s).

How long will it take to fill out the FAFSA?

It takes most people less than an hour to complete and submit a new FAFSA. This includes gathering any documents or data needed, and completing and reviewing the application.

What are the deadlines for filling out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2021. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 11, 2021.

However, many states and colleges have earlier deadlines for applying for state and institutional financial aid. You can find your state’s deadline at

Check with your college about its deadlines.

Because of the variation in state and college deadlines, it is highly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can after October 1 to ensure that you do not miss out on available aid.

Where do I find out more information about federal student aid?

You can find out more information about federal student aid through the following sources:

  • Visit

  • Get updates and information from the Federal Student Aid Facebook page and @FAFSA Twitter feed.

  • Visit the Federal Student Aid YouTube page.

  • Download the free publication, Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid by visiting

  • Contact the Federals Student Aid Information Center by clicking the link in the “Contact Us” section of our “Help” page.

  • Visit the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend.