What's a FAFSA? What's a TFAIC?

We live in a world of information overload. From the Internet to digital cable to smart phones, we are flooded with methods of gathering knowledge, so much that it can seem overwhelming.

For example, you may have read various news stories on how recent tax legislation affects funding for college, or you may have heard President Barack Obama stress the goal of investing in higher education and boosting the college-educated percentage of the U.S. population. How do you cut through the glut of data on college and finances to find the specific information that applies to you? With all the information out there, where do you start?

You start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the form you must submit to become eligible for financial aid from federal and state programs. Further, if you'd like to get some clarity on this or that aspect of the form, the Texas Financial Aid Information Center (TFAIC) is a free resource with representatives that can offer assistance in English and Spanish. Created in 1999, TFAIC is a collaborative effort between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and TG. The toll free phone number is (888) 311-8881. Students can also contact TFAIC via email at

TFAIC representatives can answer questions about eligibility requirements and applying for federal and state financial aid programs. TFAIC hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, Monday - Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday.

While these are challenging financial times for many people, funds are available to help you reach your college dreams. The FAFSA can help you gain access to those dollars, and TFAIC can assist you in filling out your FAFSA.