The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the first–and possibly most important–step to making your college degree more affordable. Filling out the FAFSA is how the federal government awards you grants, loans and scholarships to help you pay for school.
Filling out your FAFSA form only takes about 20 minutes and it’s 20 minutes well spent. Don’t wait to get started. The sooner you fill out your form, the better chance you have to receive financial aid.
This year, instead of waiting until January to fill out your FAFSA, you can fill out and submit it in October – that’s three months earlier. Because you can fill out your form so much earlier, you can use your tax return from the prior year. If you’re starting classes in 2017, you can fill out the FAFSA starting Oct. 1 using the tax documents you filed in 2016.
I’m sure you’re wondering why this is important. It means we can award you a financial aid package three months sooner. Cut out the college stress and make your decision sooner. You’re also getting a head start on housing and registering for classes.
Before you jump in, make sure you have a few things on hand. First, you’ll need your social security number. You’ll also want to have a copy of the 1040 form you used to file your taxes. And last, you’ll want to create an FSA ID, if you don’t already have one. This ID acts as an electronic signature when you’re filling out your application.
Now, most college students are classified as a “dependent.” This means that you’ll need all of these documents for your parents to help you fill out your FAFSA.
We know this process can be overwhelming and confusing. If you run in to any issues, give one of our enrollment counselors a call. They’re standing by to answer all of your financial aid questions.
Don’t put off your FAFSA form. The sooner you apply the more likely you are to receive financial aid for college. Start filling out your application by going to fafsa.gov.