Do You Have to Pay Back FAFSA?
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By Mark Kantrowitz

September 22, 2020

Students who are new to financial aid sometimes ask whether they will have to repay FAFSA. 

The FAFSA is the free application form used to apply for federal student aid, as well as financial aid from state governments and most colleges and universities.

It is not the financial aid itself.

However, students may use the term FAFSA to refer to the financial aid awarded after the student files the FAFSA.

Federal student aid that is awarded based on the FAFSA includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study and federal student loans. The FAFSA is also used to award state grants and institutional grants from colleges and universities.

Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid unless you do not meet specified requirements, if present. Student employment is earned and does not need to be repaid. 

Student loans, on the other hand, must be repaid, usually with interest.

So, you have to pay back some types of FAFSA, but not all types of FAFSA.

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