What is the FAFSA and does it cost anything to complete it?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,686
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what the FAFSA is and if it costs anything to complete it.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What is the FAFSA and does it cost anything to complete it?

    Brad Barnett: The FAFSA form is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and that s the main federal financial aid application. It is a free form; it doesn t cost you anything to complete it as long as you do it through the federal government. Most people apply online and there is a website, www.



    gov, and that s the Department of Education s website. If you go it through there, it is free because it's a free form, but what we have found is there are other individuals who have setup websites to complete the FAFSA for you and they will charge you money for that. So, make sure you go to the Department of Education website at the ed.

    gov designation.