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Summary: A New Financial Aid Estimator - FAFSA4caster

Publication Date: March 21, 2007

Authors: Jennifer Douglas, General Manager, Student Aid Awareness and
Applicant Services, Federal Student Aid
William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and
Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: A New Financial Aid Estimator - FAFSA4caster

Posted on 03-21-2007

Federal Student Aid is pleased to announce the release of FAFSA4caster, a new Federal Student Aid Web product designed to assist high school juniors and their families plan for education beyond high school. Beginning April 1, 2007, students can receive an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by entering their information into the FAFSA4caster tool, a customized version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA4caster also provides guidance on next steps for applying for admission, applying for Federal student financial aid, and paying for education beyond high school.


In September 2005, the Secretary formed a bi-partisan Commission on the Future of Higher Education to launch a national dialogue on the vital issues of accessibility, affordability, and accountability in higher education. One of the needs identified in the Commission’s final report was to notify students of their Federal student financial aid eligibility earlier in order to help families plan better. We have developed FAFSA4caster to address this need.

FAFSA4caster Benefits

FAFSA4caster is a companion piece to the official FAFSA on the Web. The free FAFSA4caster tool will assist high school juniors and their families in the following ways:

  • Instantly calculate an estimated EFC

  • Inform the student of potential Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) eligibility

  • Reduce the time needed to complete the FAFSA when the student applies as a senior
  • FAFSA4caster Access

    Students and families interested in assessing their eligibility for Federal student financial aid can access FAFSA4caster by visiting The links for FAFSA4caster are located in the lower right corner of this page.

    School Impact

    We anticipate little to no impact to financial aid offices. Students will receive a confirmation page from the system that displays an estimated EFC, indicates potential Pell Grant eligibility if the EFC is within the Pell Grant-eligible range, and provides other information regarding next steps in the Federal student financial aid process. No Student Aid Reports (SARs) or Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) will be generated.

    Spanish FAFSA4caster

    Students will be able to access a Spanish version of FAFSA4caster on April 29, 2007.

    Contact Information

    We look forward to better serving students and families through this new Web product. If you have any questions about FAFSA4caster, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800/4-FED-AID (800/433-3243).

Last Modified: 03/20/2007