Financial Aid

FAFSA

  • Mandatory application for federal and state aid

  • No cost to apply (includes submitting information to six schools of your choice)

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Steps To Filling out the FAFSA:

1. Get a FSA ID

You'll need an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online. You can get your FSA ID as you fill out the FAFSA, but you also have the option to get it ahead of time. Find out how to get an FSA ID andwhat to do if you forgot your FSA ID.

2. Gather the Documents Needed to Apply

The FAFSA asks for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, when you filed taxes or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security number (it's important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)
  • Your parents' Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
  • Your driver's license number if you have one
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
    • IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
    • Foreign tax return and/or
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail your records to FAFSA.

Learn more about reporting tax information on your FAFSA.

College and state deadlines tend to be earlier than the federal deadline (many are as early as February or March) and may require an application in addition to the FAFSA. Play it safe-collect these dates and information early.

3. Start Your FAFSA, and Provide Your Basic Personal Information

If you are starting a FAFSA for the first time, go to fafsa.gov and click on "Start A New FAFSA." As you start your FAFSA, keep the following in mind:

  • Your name and Social Security number must match those on your Social Security card.
  • If you're concerned about providing your personal information on the login page, choose the virtual keyboard option for additional security.
  • Near the beginning of the application, you'll create a "save key," which you'll use if you start your FAFSA, save it without finishing it, then want to open it again later to finish it. (One benefit of the save key is that students and parents can use this function to pass the FAFSA back and forth if they are completing the FAFSA in separate locations.)
  • If you are applying for a summer session, contact the financial aid office at your college to find out which school year you should select when you complete your FAFSA.

If you filled out a FAFSA last year and want to renew it, click "Login" on the home page, and be sure to select "FAFSA Renewal" once given the option. That way, many of the (nonfinancial) questions will be pre-filled for you. Just be sure to update any information that has changed since last year.

More Information About FAFSA - http://studentaid.ed.gov/

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