Tips to help you fill out your FAFSA form

We know filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form might not be at the top of your list of fun things to do, but it’s essential to getting money for college. And completing it early will maximize the amount of money you might receive!

Many states and schools have a first-come, first-served program that gives out grants and aid until they run out, so fill your FAFSA out as soon as you can.

Here are some tips to help make this as easy as possible:

  1. Create an FSA ID and keep a record of your FSA ID and password. Your password will need to be between 8 and 30 characters in length and contain at least one uppercase letter and one number.

If you are a dependent, you’ll need to create an FSA ID and password as well as a separate FSA ID and password for your parents. (A parent will need an FSA ID to sign a student’s application electronically.) Be careful not to supply the parent’s FSA ID in the student role since it’s the student who is the one applying for financial aid!

  1. Gather the documents you’ll need before you start. Here are some of the forms or pieces of information you may need to complete your FAFSA application:
    • Your Social Security number
    • Your parents’ Social Security number if you are a dependent
    • Your driver’s license, if you have one
    • Your Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
    • Your tax return. Also, your parents’ tax return if you are a dependent
    • Information about your untaxed income, such as child support, interest income, veteran benefits, etc.
    • Information on your checking and savings balances, investments, stocks and bonds, real estate (not including the home you live in), business assets, etc.
  1. There’s also a mobile app called FSA: myStudentAid available on the Apple App Store or on Google Play if you prefer to enter your information that way. (You will need to have a FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA form on the app.)

If you would like to have a printed-out form mailed to you, you can request one by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can fill out the form and mail it back for processing.

Every college or university has their own deadlines for its own grants and scholarships, but you can find Federal FAFSA Deadlines here.

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