First-time students

If this is your first time applying for federal financial aidMoney provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self help aid (loans and work)., it's important to follow all the steps in the application process.  

Other helpful tips include reviewing and printing the list of documents that are needed.  This list is provided in Step 3.

You and one of your parents (if you are a dependentSee Dependency Status. student) will have to sign your application. The application process is faster if you use your Federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign electronically.   You can learn how to request a PIN in Step 2 of this process.

Steps to receiving financial aid.