The FAFSA is known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application gives you access to all the different types of federal financial aid available through the federal government. According to the studentaid website the federal government provides $150 billion in grants, work-study, and loans.
Everyone should file the FAFSA no matter how much money you make. You will file this application every year that you are in school at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA you will be filing will be the same year you will be attending school. For example if you plan to attend college in the 2017-2018 school year you will need to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA.
Pay attention to deadlines! You should file the FAFSA as soon as possible. Some financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis. The federal deadline for completing the FAFSA is June 30th of the year you plan to attend school. State deadlines come much earlier and vary from state to state. Also check with the colleges you have applied to see their priority deadlines. On the FAFSA website you can also look up deadlines. Type in the state you reside in and the year you are filing the FAFSA.
Information Needed to Complete the FAFSA
You will need the following items to complete the FAFSA
- FSA ID (both students and parents)
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license Number
- W-2 forms and other records of money earned
- Tax return (use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if eligible)
- Record of child support paid
- Bond or investment records
- Business and farm records
- Savings and Checking account statements
The FAFSA is comprised of 7 sections.
Section 1) Student Demographics
Section 2) Student Financials
Section 3) Student Dependency
Section 4) Parent Demographics and Financials
Section 5) More Dependency Questions
Section 6) Enter School Codes where you would like your FAFSA information to be sent
Section 7) Sign with you and your parents FSA ID and Submit
Your application will be processed and the information will be sent to the schools listed on your FAFSA. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) most likely via email. Be sure to read the first page of the SAR. This page will indicate if there is any further action needed on your part.