Seniors, you may fill out the FAFSA for college on or after Dec. 1st, 2023. You should fill out your FAFSA as early as possible to maximize the amount of financial aid you may qualify for. Colleges have internal scholarships and you may have to have the FAFSA completed to be eligible.
Check out The Hefar Group-a non-profit organization that will help you lower your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) on your FAFSA. money4college.org
The College Funding Coach presents on campus. This interactive workshop teaches parents the rules of the game when it comes to paying for their child’s education.
Five Smart Tips on How to Pay for College
Why fill out the FAFSA and are there Income Limits?
Financial Aid and Loan Calculator Article
The College Depot has a lot of information to assist with filling out the FAFSA.
FAFSA - The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the form that the federal government uses to determine your eligibility for federal aid. This aid includes grants, work-study and loans. Be sure to get your FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA.
Steps to Fill Out the FAFSA-Opens Dec. 1st for 2023-2024 seniors.
Get your FSA ID (username) and password. You’ll use this to log into your FAFSA, sign your FAFSA and check your FAFSA status online. If you’ll need a parent to provide info for your FAFSA and sign your FAFSA, your parent should also make his/her own FSA ID. Get your FSA ID BEFORE filling out the FAFSA
Gather the financial documents you’ll need to refer to when you fill out the FAFSA - for the 2024-25 FAFSA, refer to 2022 tax returns.
Fill out the FAFSA. Most people need about 30-45 minutes to do this. (If you are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, filling out the FAFSA is even faster!)
The new FAFSA becomes available after Dec. 1st, 2023. Early submission maximizes your chances of receiving financial aid.
Submit the FAFSA whether or not you think you qualify for aid. Sometimes, being rejected for federal aid is a prerequisite for receiving private awards.
Contact your prospective college's financial aid office for additional information. Your school may require forms in addition to the FAFSA or may have an earlier submission deadline.
5 Most Common FAFSA Mistakes
- Do not leave a field blank. Use a zero if the question does not apply to you.
- Don't forget to report ALL required sources of untaxed income.
- Use the 1040 Federal tax return for reporting income and taxes paid, not the W-2.
- Include yourself in household size, even if you didn't live there the previous year.
- Sign the application. If you are filing as a dependent, make sure your parents sign up too.
Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA application:
Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
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
- Foreign tax return or IRS 1040NR
- 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 (do not include the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student