The starting point to apply for financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application must be completed as soon as possible (available October 1 each year for the following academic year). Applicants should use figures from a completed federal income tax return from the previous year; however, estimates are acceptable. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in February every year. You can apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Directions to apply for a FSA Username and Password are included on the website. A FSA Username and Password for the student and at least one parent is recommended for faster processing with electronic signatures. From this application, a student can learn about eligibility for the following federal programs: Pell Grant, SEOG, Perkins Loan, Work-Study and Direct Loans. The Access Missouri Grant program is available to Missouri residents and also requires the results of the FAFSA by April 1 of each year. These programs are based on “need” as determined by a federal formula.