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February 9th, 2021

FAFSA FAQs

The single most important thing you can do to help pay for college is completing and submitting your FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Based on the FAFSA, colleges will award students different types and amounts of federal financial aid. But for many students, applying for the FAFSA can be very confusing and scary. To help clear up some of the confusion, we have compiled a FAFSA FAQ.

Where do I submit the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA at FAFSA.gov or through the myStudentAid mobile app. DO NOT use any website or app other than FAFSA.gov or myStudentAid to submit your FAFSA. There are other predatory sites that will charge you for FAFSA completion. Submitting your FAFSA is free! You must have a FSA ID in order to sign and submit your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, at least one of your parents will need a FSA ID as well.

What documentation do I need to submit the FAFSA?
Before you dive into the application itself, it is always better to be prepared. Here is a list of information that you will need while completing the FAFSA. For a more complete list, review NASFAA’s FAFSA Checklist.

  • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned; check the Federal Student Aid website to see which year’s tax returns and W-2s you will need
  • If you are a dependent student, you will also need your parents’ tax information
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • When do I apply?
    The FAFSA isn’t just for federal student aid. Those who complete the FAFSA earlier might also be eligible for non-federal student aid funds. These funds can come from the states or colleges themselves. Keep in mind, that unlike federal student aid, state and college funds are limited so the sooner you complete the FAFSA, the more likely you are to have access to these funds. Applying early can also give you the opportunity to collect any missing materials you need before the deadline.

    We know the FAFSA can be challenging but it is the key to starting off your college career right. The decision to complete the FAFSA is one of the best choices you can make when trying to finance your education. Having access to as much financial aid as possible can considerably lessen your dependence on student loans and living a life free from debt. If you have any questions regarding the FAFSA, contact us to speak to one of our financial aid specialists.