Looking for help with the government FAFSA?
Financial aid administrators and guidance counselors from around the country agree that the following tips speed up the application process.
Important: Read the instructions!
Many questions on the FAFSA are straightforward, like your Social Security Number. But many questions are asked specifically for purposes of student financial aid. Common words like "household," "investments," and even "parent" may have special meaning. Read all instructions carefully.
State and school deadlines will vary and tend to be early. Check with them to find out their exact deadline dates.
Federal Student Aid will process your FAFSA if it is received on or before the deadline. However, in order for you to actually receive aid, your school must have correct, complete FAFSA information before your last day of enrollment.
Complete Your Tax Return!
We recommend that you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) complete your tax return before filling out your FAFSA. This will make completing the FAFSA easier. If you have not filed your tax return yet, you can still submit your FAFSA but you must provide correct income and tax data once you have filed.
Save Time: File Electronically!
Complete and submit your FAFSA online. It is the fastest and most accurate way to apply for student aid.
Ask: Do I Need Additional Forms?
Many schools and states rely on the FAFSA as the single application for student aid. However, it would be wise to check with your state agency and the financial aid office at the school that you plan to attend to find out if they require additional forms. Other forms may be needed for federal student loans, private student loans, scholarships, and other assistance.
Here are some additional tips for filing your FAFSA offered on the fafsa.ed.gov website.