How To Apply for FAFSA Financial Aid

Student reading a stack of books

Filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Federal Aid) can seem like a daunting task, but it's really not as difficult as you may assume. You will need to fill it in every year in order to get any federal and state aid.

  1. Decide how you want to fill out your FAFSA. There is a paper version (get it at any college, high school or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID) and an Electronic version.
    • Filling out the electronic version will be faster and it is designed to find mistakes.
  2. If you choose to fill out the FAFSA online you will need to decide if you are going to send in a signature page, or if you are going to sign it with a pin.
  3. If you are going to sign it with a pin you, and your parents (if you are dependent) must apply for one.
  4. Fill out your taxes. You will need these to be able to fill out your FAFSA. You don't need to have them sent in, but having a general idea about your income and how much you owe is essential. If you are considered a dependent your parents will have to complete their taxes as well.
  5. Gather all the other documents you need. You can find a list here: FAFSA Documents.

  6. You have the option to fill out a worksheet on the FAFSA website. This will assure that you have everything that you need.
  7. You are ready to fill out your FAFSA! You now have all your information and know what version you are going to fill out, you are ready to fill out your information. Since you already have all your paperwork in hand, filling it out be will easy.
  8. You will get conformation of your submitted FAFSA. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will provide you with a copy of your FAFSA data.
  9. You can always make corrections to your FAFSA (if you have updated income information after completing you taxes etc.)


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