The FAFSA is the application for federal need-based and non-need-based financial aid which tests the eligibility of a student seeking higher education for receipt of need-based financial aid dollars from the U.S. federal government in the form of grants, loans, and work-study eligibility.
Students and their parents complete the FAFSA once each year prior to the upcoming school year. A separate FAFSA is completed and filed for each student, so two or more siblings who may be in college at the same time would each need to complete a separate FAFSA. This annual application qualifies a student for consideration for all the following federal programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and the Federal Work-Study program.
The FAFSA can be completed and submitted entirely online. The latest version of the FAFSA is available online beginning January 1 of each year.
The PROFILE is the application for Franklin & Marshall need-based financial aid. The PROFILE was created by the CollegeBoard and can be completed and submitted entirely online.
Unlike the FAFSA, the PROFILE does have a registration fee as well as a submission fee to each college to which you want your information sent. The PROFILE differs from the FAFSA, however, in that it seeks information regarding your family's home equity value. The PROFILE also seeks information regarding the noncustodial parent in a divorced family situation. The PROFILE can be completed as early as mid-fall of your senior year of high school for your first year of college.
The PROFILE needs to be completed for each year that a student is attending Franklin & Marshall.