The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a document that colleges use to calculate your financial aid package. Filling out the FAFSA can make you eligible for multiple types of financial aid – including grants, scholarships, student loans and work-study – to fund some or all of your college education. The FAFSA annually opens on October 1 and closes by June 30th. You can file it at fafsa.ed.gov. Keep in mind that you should never have to pay to file this form.
Some helpful points:
- File your FAFSA as soon as possible once it opens (October 1 of your senior year). Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
- If you are applying for grant money for dual enrollment credits, this form can be filled out before January of your senior year.
- Check the Federal and State Deadlines.
- You’ll need a FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online.
- Parents will need their own FSA ID. A dependent student will need to have one of his or her legal parents sign the student’s FAFSA, so the parent needs an FSA ID as well.
- Get organized before you fill out the FAFSA so you don’t need to search for financial aid information as you complete the form. This FAFSA Checklist will aid you in getting organized.
- How you fill out the FAFSA depends on your family circumstances. Below are tips on what financial information to provide based on your situation, and where to get additional help if you need it. Choose the best option below that best applies to you for guidance on how to answer each question on the FAFSA.