Students struggling to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the imminent deadline can use a new, seven-step tutorial to simplify the process.

UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website features a free, step-by-step online lesson for the FAFSA. This year’s tutorial features supplemental audio tracks of students explaining each step in detail and contains screenshots of the application itself to ensure clarity throughout the process.

To be eligible for federal, state or university financial aid in the form of grants, educational loans and work-study programs for the 2011-2012 school year, California students must submit the FAFSA by March 2.

According to Matthew Peralta, a Financial Aid Office peer advisor and second-year political science major, many students feel intimidated by the FAFSA application.

“On more than one occasion, I’ve talked to students who pay a third party to fill out their FAFSA and I think that’s unnecessary,” Peralta said. “It’s important to get the word out that resources like the tutorial are there for students to take advantage of and it will only prove more beneficial to them as they seek financial aid that will make attending UCSB more economically feasible for them and their families.”

The tutorial can be accessed at FAFSASimplification/index.html.