Applying Yourself Part 3: The Revenge of the State

I know, I know, I love sequels. Be it Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or even Toy Story, once you get me hooked on a story, I am all in. The action gets even better as you dive deeper into the story.

While this may not be exactly the case when it comes to financial aid, it is true that your application process is definitely a 4-parter. Tonight we come to the next part of your financial aid process: the State application.

In Florida, which is where I am based, we have the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA).

Money in Florida – We have Some!

Florida’s largest financial aid program offered by the State is the Bright Futures program, but it is a merit-based program and is limited to students who meet the SAT, GPA and community service hours. For those who qualify, it can be a fantastic program — paying the full cost of tuition and fees at any state college or university in Florida, and a similar amount for students attending a private college. But if you don’t qualify, many students make the mistake of assuming that Bright Futures is the only program that Florida offers.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Florida offers 12 scholarship and grant programs and 1 work program and most of them are not based on GPA or SAT.

But the most important thing to note is that you have to apply for these programs using the FFAA. The application MUST be completed during the student’s senior year of high school and can be done online.

Lots of great information on the eligibility rules and requirements can be found on the Florida OSFA webpage. We’ll also spend some time in future posts talking about these programs in greater detail. But for now, trust Moneyman. Get your Florida Financial Aid Application done.

And if you don’t live in Florida, make sure to look at your state’s requirements for its financial aid programs. Each state does things a little differently (some even let you take your scholarship money out of state with you).

And no matter what you do, stay tuned for the sequel. One more chapter is coming and it is sure to be a moneymaker!

3 thoughts on “Applying Yourself Part 3: The Revenge of the State

  1. anon1104 February 25, 2019 / 4:04 pm

    Hello Mr. Moneyman.

    I wanted to thank you for this blog which has been very interesting to read so far and this last post was definitely an eye-opener. I’m looking forward to your next work.

    Let me take this chance to ask something about the FFAA (I reside in Florida too!), you said ” The application MUST be completed during the student’s senior year of high school…” which has me wondering, did I lose my chance to do it since I’m now a College freshman?


    • moneyman February 25, 2019 / 5:59 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Anon1104. Very insightful question, and welcome to the blog. Congratulations on being the first poster (hope you feel free to ask more questions). Now to answer your question.

      So while it is true that you can only fill out the FFAA (Florida Financial Aid Application) during your senior year in high school, this doesn’t on its own necessarily remove your eligibility for all state financial aid. My advice would be to visit your college or university’s financial aid office and ask them how they prioritize applications for consideration for need-based state financial aid (like FSAG or ABLE). While you may have missed the deadline for some merit-based programs, it likely is not too late for need-based programs. We can usually award need-based aid to Florida residents even if they do not have an FFAA on file.


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