FAFSA is the KEY!
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key
that opens the door to financial aid. It serves as the application for most
of the financial aid from federal and state programs and from colleges and
universities. Even if you are not sure that you will need financial aid,
we recommend that you fill out a FAFSA
anyway -- it's free.
The 2018-19 FAFSA will be launched on October
When you file the 2018-19 FAFSA, you will use what the
U.S. Department of Education calls the Prior Prior Year (PPY) for income information.
This means that you will use your 2016 income information to complete the
You should submit the FAFSA as soon after the official
starting date, which is now October 1, as possible, making sure you meet any
college or state deadlines. The quickest and most accurate way to file the FAFSA is online. In contrast
to a paper copy, the online form displays only the data entry fields you need
to complete. You also receive directions as you need them. The FAFSA site
is also available in Spanish.
complete the FAFSA you will need an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid), a username and password
that enables you to log in to some Department of Education websites.
may wish to make use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). This tool
transfers your income tax information directly from the income tax form that
you filed onto the FAFSA. Please note, during 2017, the IRS turned off the
DRT following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves
to file fraudulent tax returns. As noted above, the IRS DRT will be available
to use on the 2018-19 FAFSA form on FAFSA.gov when the form launches on October
1, 2017. You can read more about this process and find out when your tax information
will be available through the IRS DRT here.
If you prefer to fill out a paper copy of
the FAFSA, you can obtain one by calling the Federal Student Aid Information
Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
The FAFSA may not be the only form required
to receive an award letter from a school. You must also complete the college
admissions process. Check with each of the colleges and universities you listed
on your FAFSA to determine their requirements.
If you filed your FAFSA
electronically, you will receive an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) within
a few days of submitting your completed FAFSA. (SAR results may take three
weeks if you filed a paper FAFSA.) The SAR is the result of your FAFSA. Read
it immediately and follow any directions. The schools you list on the FAFSA
will also receive results.