If you are getting ready for the college application process, filling out
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form may seem a little
daunting. With these tips and a dollop of patience, you can be well on
your way to affordable education. Here are some of the best tips on how
to successfully complete your FAFSA application.
If you are still considering your college choices, you can use the FAFSA
calculator to see how much aid you would be eligible for. This can help
you to see which schools you can afford. Get the FAFSA calculator here:
It’s easy online
You can apply online between January 1 and June 30. You can fill out your
FAFSA online here:
You can start by getting a PIN number which you will need to complete the
application. This PIN is your personal identification and will also be
used if you want to sign a loan contract, if you want to access your FAFSA
information online and access several other US Department of Education websites.
When you are ready to apply for your PIN, visit the Federal Student Aid
PIN website here:
Once your have applied for your PIN, you can complete your FAFSA application.
After three days, the information you provided will be verified by the
SSA and then you can use it on other websites. You do not have to wait
for verification to complete the FAFSA. Do not share your PIN number with
anyone else to avoid identity theft.
Gather all the necessary documentation
You will need a number of documents in order to complete your FAFSA application.
Ensure that you have all these documents and your PIN number before you
start the application process.
- Your Social Security number
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers
- Your driver’s license
- Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for
you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you
are a dependent student:
- IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
- Foreign tax return and/or
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest
income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents
if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments,
including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home
in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your
parents if you are a dependent student
If you are struggling with the tax information section of your FAFSA, get
If you are unable to enter all your parent’s information, then you
can indicate special circumstances which will allow you to complete the
application without this data.
If your parents don’t have a social security number, you can use
all zeroes on the application where it asks for that information.
Of course you have not had your college applications approved and so you
can list as many as 10 potential schools. Start with a state school as
some states require this in order for you to qualify for state aid. After
the first state school you list, you may list your other school choices
in whichever order you prefer.
The schools you list will automatically receive your FAFSA information.
Once your application is complete, a confirmation page will show that your
application will be processed.
If you need further information on filling out the FAFSA, watch the video here: