How to use the Dept. of Education's Official FAFSA Website
Here are some tips for using the fafsa.ed.gov website for completing the FAFSA:
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE or ED) estimates that for first-time users, completing the FAFSA will take less than one hour to complete. We believe that to be true, if you've prepared all your documents ahead of time. Even less time is needed for the Renewal FAFSA, since all you need to do is update your original FAFSA with current information. Here are some tips to help you prepare to file your application on the FAFSA official site:
- Make sure you're on the right website - People commonly mis-spell FAFSA, referring to it as FASFA or FASA which results in those same people looking for www.fasfa.gov, fasa.gov or fasfa.ed.gov. The correct website is fafsa.ed.gov and it is FREE to use for filing your FAFSA.
- Plan ahead - Gather the necessary information like your Social Security Number, driver's license, income tax return and investment records before you begin. For a complete listing of the required documents you'll need to complete the FAFSA, read: Intro to the FAFSA Form.
- See a preview - Review our FAFSA form guide to see how the application is organized; ask your parents for the necessary information (if you are a dependent student).
- Take your time - While completing the FAFSA on www.fafsa.ed.gov (ed FAFSA or Gov FAFSA) save what you're working on whenever you want, so you can complete and submit it later at your convenience. The information you save will be secure and available for you to retrieve and edit for 45 days or until after the federal application/correction deadline date has passed.
- Get your PIN - After completing a FAFSA (at www.fafsa.ed.gov), you and your parents - if you are a dependent student - will need to sign your application. Using your PIN to sign your FAFSA application electronically is by far the fastest and most reliable way to verify the form's completion. The U.S. government cannot process your FAFSA until your signature(s) are received.
Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school. The DOE consistently champions the promise of postsecondary education to all Americans and its value to our society.
Federal Student Aid plays a central and essential role in supporting postsecondary education by providing money for college to eligible students and families. The DOE partners with postsecondary schools, financial institutions and others to deliver services that help students and families who are paying for college.
Today, Federal Student Aid performs a range of critical functions that include, among others:
- Educating students and families on the process of obtaining aid;
- Processing millions of student financial aid applications each year;
- Disbursing billions of dollars in aid funds to students through schools;
- Enforcing financial aid rules and regulations;
- Servicing millions of student loan accounts, and securing repayment from borrowers who have defaulted on their loans; and
- Operating information technology systems and tools that manage billions in student aid dollars.