The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an annual form that students complete to determine how much money a college/university might give you!
FAFSA IS AVAILABLE TO COMPLETE STARTING OCTOBER 1st
Meeting school and state deadlines can make a difference in the amount of aid a student receives
Based on the information you provide on the FAFSA, you may be offered grants, scholarships, work-study and low-interest student loans by the federal government, state government and your college or university. The greater your financial need, the more ‘free money’ you may receive.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO COMPLETE FAFSA
To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:
- Your Social Security Number & Your Parent/Legal Guardian’s Social Security Number(s)
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your & your parent/legal guardian’s federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You (and/or your parents) may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- An FSA ID to sign electronically (for both you & parent)
- A list of schools you are interested in attending
The US Department of Education gives more detailed information about the 7 things you need to complete FAFSA.
HOW TO COMPLETE FAFSA
Prior to beginning the FAFSA process, families should create and FSA ID. To create an FSA ID:
- Log into gov and click the FSA ID link to create an FSA ID.
- Create a username and password, and enter your e-mail address (it’s suggested you use a personal email address, not the school email address).
- Enter your name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information, and challenge questions and answers.
- If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to our FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN.
- Review your information, and read and accept the terms and conditions.
- Confirm your e-mail address using the secure code, which will be sent to the e-mail address you entered when you created your FSA ID. Once you verify your e-mail address, you can use it instead of your username to log in to the websites.
You can use your FSA ID to sign a FAFSA right away! Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information in one to three days, or if you have linked your PIN to your FSA ID, you will be able to use your FSA ID to access the websites listed above. For help, visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
From there, the system will take you through numerous questions to complete the FAFSA. If a student is filling it out at certain times of day (usually Monday-Friday between 8am and 8pm Eastern time; sometimes Saturday and even Sunday hours as well), he or she can get help via live chat within the application or by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
AFTER FAFSA HAS BEEN COMPLETED
The 2018–19 FAFSA site became available on Oct. 1, 2017, for the 2018–19 “award year” (which runs from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019). A student can submit the application any time until the end of the award year to apply for federal aid. However, it’s important to note that state higher education agencies and many colleges use FAFSA information to determine a student’s eligibility for aid from their state or school funds. Therefore, the student should check fafsa.gov for his or her state deadline and the college’s website for the school’s deadline.