What is the FAFSA?
It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it helps determine the amount and type of federal funding you can receive to help pay for college. It opens up a world of options including grants (they don't need to be repaid), low‐cost federal loans (with generous repayment options), work study (work part-time while going to classes), campus based aid and scholarships. http://studentaid.ed.gov.
It also makes you eligible to apply for certain state aid like the Alaska Performance Scholarship.
The FAFSA is free and it generally takes less than 30 minutes for the student and parents to complete. You need your last completed taxes, w-2 and maybe a bank statement.
In addition to federal and institutional funds, students in Alaska have additional funding opportunities through the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.