Why do I have to fill out a FAFSA?
If you plan on applying for any type of federal grant, scholarship, work-study or loan, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form will enable your college to determine your eligibility for all types of Federal Financial Aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
Do I need to apply for financial aid each year?
Yes. You will need to complete the FAFSA form each year if you want to borrow any type of federal money. Every year you will receive a new financial aid award letter from your school. Private student loan borrowers do not need to submit the FAFSA (however students should maximize federal aid, which does require the FAFSA, before taking out a private loan).
Where can I obtain a FAFSA form?
You can complete and submit the FAFSA form online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application is available in both English and Spanish. You can also obtain a paper version of the FAFSA form from your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office.
The FAFSA form asks for my parents' income, and my parents are divorced. Whose income should I put on the form?
You should use the income of the custodial parent. If your parents have joint custody, then list the income of the parent you lived with the most during the previous twelve months. In addition, if that parent is remarried, you must include his or her spouse’s income on the FAFSA form.
What documents or information do I need to successfully complete my FAFSA?
You will need the following information:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your driver’s license (if any)
- Your W-2 forms or other records of money earned from last year
- Your Federal Income Tax Return from last year
- Your parent’s Federal Income Tax Return from last year (if you are a dependent student)
- Your untaxed income records from last year, including child support, worker’s compensation and veteran’s non-education benefit records
- Your current bank statements
- Your current business and investment mortgage information, business records, stocks, bonds and other investment records
- Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you’re not a United States citizen)
What are the FAFSA deadlines for applying?
Annual deadlines vary by schools and states. However, January 1st of each year is the first date that you are eligible to file the FAFSA. It’s good to apply as early as possible at the beginning of each calendar year.