Jul 26, 2017

What Do I Need to Fill Out the FAFSA?


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA, is the only way college students can obtain access to over $150 billion in federal student aid, such as grants, loans, and work-study programs. Completing this application is the initial step in gaining federal assistance for higher education, rather it be college, graduate school, or even a career school. Additionally, various states, institutions, and scholarships also use the FAFSA to grant private financial aid, so it is really important to complete this application. Here’s what you need to fill out your FAFSA.

What Do I Need to Fill Out the FAFSA?The application is easy to complete and assistance is available throughout the whole process. A recent improvement to help applicants is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that enables both students and their parents to access the necessary information on IRS tax returns and the data is directly transferred to the FAFSA form. The entire process of filling out the application only takes about 30 minutes to finish.

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Qualifications for the FAFSA

If you want to have access to federal student aid, you have to fill out the FAFSA, but there’s a catch. Not just anybody can fill out a FAFSA, so before putting in all the work of filling out the form, make sure you’re eligible to receive federal financial aid first. Here’s the requirements for filling out the FAFSA.

  • U.S. citizen or non-citizen with special eligibility
  • A high school diploma, GED certificate, or completed secondary education in a home school setting that is recognized by your state of residence.
  • Acceptance or enrollment in a higher education program as a regular student pursuing a certificate or degree.
  • Registration with the Selective Service if you are male aged 18 to 25.
  • Meet acceptable academic progress standards established by your institution.
  • Confirm you are not in default on any federal assistance program.
  • Officially state that you will only use federal student aid for educational reasons.

When to Submit the FAFSA

You can file in many different ways. Submitting the application online is probably the easiest and faster and you just visit www.fafsa.gov. If you would rather file on paper, you can either order a paper version or download the PDF file from the website. Additionally, some financial aid offices at schools allow you to file the application in person there. Some institutions also use special software to help you submit the FAFSA.




Reasons to Submit the FAFSA

You can file in many different ways. Submitting the application online is probably the easiest and faster and you just visit www.fafsa.gov. If you would rather file on paper, you can either order a paper version or download the PDF file from the website. Additionally, some financial aid offices at schools allow you to file the application in person there. Some institutions also use special software to help you submit the FAFSA.

Reasons to Submit the FAFSA

Like we already said, there’s about 150 billion reason to fill out the FAFSA. If you are eligible to receive “free money” why wouldn’t you take the time to at least put yourself in the running for that opportunity? Not that you need them, but here’s a few more reasons why you should fill out the FAFSA.

  • If you do not complete the application, you could miss out on a lot of financial assistance.
  • There is not a cut-off for income to qualify for federal student aid and many other factors come in to play, such as family size.
  • When you complete the FAFSA you are also automatically applying for state funding and other financial assistance from your school.
  • Some institutions will not even consider students for scholarships until the FAFSA is submitted.
  • Grades are not a deciding factor for financial aid.

Bear in mind that some federal student aid programs are first-come, first-served, so it is important to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible. You must submit the FAFSA every year that you are attending school to remain eligible for federal student assistance.




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