FAFSA Completion Season — Students

Attending College can be a big cost to both you and your parents.  The federal government has created an application where all students can apply to receive money to pay for their college career.  The FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used by students to apply for financial aid each year. This application helps to determine the various programs, grants, loans and work study funds that a student qualifies for which can be used to pay for college expenses.  The application for the upcoming year opens on October 1st and is available for all students who plan to attend a College or a University.  Find out below how to apply and the steps to take to successfully fill out your FAFSA.

  • Step One: Create a FAFSA ID . You will need one and so will your parents in order to sign the application before it is submitted.
  • Step Two: Gather all documents needed to fill out your FAFSA.  Such as your social security card, any W-2 forms, your permanent resident card if you have one and your tax records. Note: currently the data retrieval system that uploads your tax information is not working.
    • If you are unsure if you can apply, because of your legal status in this country, click on the link to check your eligibility.
  • Step Three: Begin your FAFSA application.
    • Yes, you can start your FAFSA even if you haven’t been accepted into a college or university.
  • Step Four:  At any time that you find yourself confused about a question they are asking you, make sure to use the ‘help’ button and online chat that is available to you for assistance.
  • Step Five:  Have you parents sign your FAFSA, using their FSA ID to complete your application.
  • Step Six: When complete with your application you will receive a SAR- Student Aid Report.  Check your report to make sure all your information is correct.  If you find something that is incorrect, go back and fix it.
    • On your SAR, you will also find your EFC- Expected Family Contribution.  This is money that is expected to be paid by you, but this is not accurate, because your college will determine the money that is awarded to you.
  • Step Seven: Money is awarded to you three different ways.
    • Grants: Money given to you based on your financial need. As long as you are attending your classes, you don’t have to pay it back.  This money can be used for tuition cost, books and other living expenses.
    • Loans: Money you borrow at low, fixed rates.  You do have to pay it back after you finish attending classes.
    • Work Study: A part-time job that helps you earn money for college.

Finished with your application, what happens next?


In addition to the information above, check out these resources from Form Your Future: