The FAFSA is the first step to getting financial aid

You don’t have to know what you want to do after high school. But you do need to keep your options open, so file your FAFSA—to receive up to $6,195 in the Federal Pell Grant alone for eligible students. 

Then take a few extra minutes for the Vermont Grant. Eligible students received from $1,000 to $12,300 during the 2019–2020 academic year, so look for the Vermont grant link on your FAFSA confirmation page.

FAFSAs are the access point to all financial aid for education and training after high school: college, technical programs, and more.

FAFSA = $$—grants, scholarships, work study, and loans—to continue your studies.

Start your FAFSA application now

Apply for a Vermont Grant

Need help with your FAFSA application or Vermont grant application? VSAC can help:

  1. Complete your FAFSA during our Facebook Live event, when VSAC's FAFSA expert Carrie Harlow, will walk you through the application question by question. Log in at our Facebook page on October 21 at 7:00 pm.
  2. Attend a VSAC FInancial Aid Forms Workshop in your area, starting in the fall.
  3. Make an appointment at our Winooski Resource Center on FAFSA Fridays, beginning on October 4.
  4. Call our toll-free FAFSA helpline at 833-802-8722 (Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–4:30 pm).

Why the FAFSA?

Every year, millions of dollars in financial aid goes unused because students simply don't complete the FAFSA form.

VSAC counselor Soren explains how to start


  • It's free. There is never a cost to complete the form at fafsa.gov.
  • No FAFSA = No money. Not completing the FAFSA might mean you will overpay for college or training. Or think that you can't afford to go.
  • Fast. Most people take less than 30 minutes to complete the form. And the FAFSA has gone mobile! Yep, there's an app. Get started.

Need more reasons to file a FAFSA? Check out these incentives:

  • 7 Vermont colleges will offer a drawing for an additional $1,000 FAFSA scholarship if you fill out the FAFSA before Dec. 31 and then attend Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, Norwich University, Sterling College, University of Vermont, or Vermont Technical College.
  • File and be in the running for 1 of hundreds of $1,000 Complete the FAFSA scholarships from the College Board every month from October through February 2020. 
  • Share your experiences about the FAFSA on social media and tag @vsac and #FastFAFSA50. You could win a $50 gift card in our weekly Fast FAFSA $50 drawings, October through February. Learn more below.
  • VSAC is offering $1,000 for a school-approved senior class activity. Every high school that has 70% (or more) seniors complete a FAFSA will be entered in a drawing for the award.  


You won't know until you fill out the FAFSA! You may be surprised to learn what aid may be available for you.

The FAFSA is the first step to being considered for:

Ready to start?

If you're ready to apply for financial aid, start your FAFSA today.

Here are some tips that will help set you up for success with the FAFSA:

  • Start early: Each October, the FAFSA is made available for the following school year. Many colleges—and VSAC’s Vermont Grant Program—make financial aid decisions on a first come, first-served basis. Submit your application as early as possible to make sure you get the most aid you can. 
  • Gather your documents ahead of time: Be prepared so you can move quickly through the form once you start. To fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to provide information about your family’s financial situation. Get a list of what you'll need to get started
  • Create an FSA ID: The FSA ID is a username and password that is used to sign the FAFSA (and other legally binding documents) electronically and to log in to certain US Department of Education websites. The student—and the student’s parent—will each need their own FSA ID. To learn more about the FSA ID—or to create one—visit fsaid.ed.gov.
  • Make sure you’re on the right site: You can apply for the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov. You should never pay to submit the FAFSA. It’s all free. Be sure the site you are using ends in .gov and not .com.
  • Check your deadlines: Schools each have their own deadlines. Vermont grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For non-Vermonters, state deadlines are available at fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to check with the colleges and career schools you’re applying to for their FAFSA deadlines.
  • Don’t be afraid to get help: There are many FAFSA resources available right here on the VSAC website—including more tips for getting started, as well as helpful videos. Tips are also available as you go through the application.
  • Know your colleges: While completing the FAFSA, you must list at least 1 college to receive your information. To be considered for a Vermont grant, be sure to list your first-choice colleges from any state in the first 3 positions. You may update your choices later to receive aid at a different school. 
  • Get ready to apply for the Vermont grant: Once you've submitted your FAFSA, it's time to apply for the Vermont grant. It’s easy.  At the end of the FAFSA you’ll see a link to complete the Vermont Grant Application. Follow the link for application instructions.

The information you provide on your FAFSA will help to decide how much you'll be expected to pay for college or career school—and how much financial aid you may receive.

Ready to start?

If you're ready to apply for financial aid, start your FAFSA today.

We think you’ll be smart and file the FAFSA. And we want to hear about it!

Every Friday from October through February, VSAC will hand out $50 to someone who posts on social media about their FAFSA experience.

Tag us so we can find you: @vsac, #FastFAFSA50. 

Official rules for the Fast FAFSA 50 drawing:

  1. Every Friday from October 4 through February 28, 2020, VSAC will randomly select a Vermonter who posts on social media about the FAFSA and applying for financial aid to win a $50 gift card. The entry must include @vsac and #fastfafsa50. 
  2. To be eligible to enter, you must be a Vermont resident and have filed a FAFSA. .
  3. Each individual is limited to one entry.
  4. Each week’s winner will be selected from all eligible entries by random selection.
  5. Each winner will receive a $50 VISA gift card.
  6. No transfers, cash redemptions, or substitutions allowed.
  7. The number of eligible entries will determine the odds of winning.
  8. VSAC Employees and their immediate families and household members are not eligible for the drawing.
  9. By entering the drawing, you agree to allow VSAC to retweet or share your post on its social media sites.

Ready to start?

If you're ready to apply for financial aid, start your FAFSA today.