How to Prepare Your FAFSA | 2014-2015 FAFSA Form Guide Step 1

Get started filing your FAFSA below, or Download this guide as a PDF.

Pre-FAFSA Preparation

What documentation and paperwork do you need to complete the FAFSA? We have a comprehensive list for you.

In addition to gathering financial information, you will need to sign up for a FAFSA account and a FAFSA pin.

All financial information needs to be for the previous financial year. If you are planning to file the 2014-2015 FAFSA you will need documentation from tax year 2013 (January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013).

Tip: If you don't have your W-2 tax forms yet, you can estimate using your pay stubs and file a FAFSA correction later.

  • Your Social Security Number (can be found on the Social Security card)
  • Your driver's license or state ID (if any)
  • Your FAFSA PIN
  • Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
  • Your (and your spouse's, if you're married) 2013 Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040TeleFile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Your parents' Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
  • Your untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Your alien registration or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

Sometimes this financial information can be difficult to find and organize so it is suggested you start gathering it now to prepare your FAFSA. Because you will be filing your financial aid application using the FAFSA on the Web form, you will need your FAFSA PIN before you begin the process. Make sure you obtain your PIN and if you are filing as a dependent student, your parents will need their PIN as well.

For additional resources, here is a complete FAFSA Checklist along with information about how to test-drive the FAFSA form with the Printable FAFSA Worksheet.

>> Continue to Step 2: FAFSA Account Set Up