While some families choose not to file the FAFSA, many would be surprised at how much financial aid they could get. Undergraduate and graduate students received a total of $234.6 billion in financial aid during the 2021-22 academic year, according to the College Board. This includes scholarships, grants and access to work-study programs, which, unlike student loans, don’t need to be repaid. Aid is not limited to graduating high schoolers and undergraduates; students from all walks of life and pursuing many types of degrees may qualify for aid. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to successfully apply for federal aid and avoid common mistakes. Give yourself the best chance for securing financial aid today.