Filling Out A FAFSA

A FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, must be filled out when you are applying for government grants and most government loans (such as the Stafford or Perkins). Schools use student’s FAFSA information to decide if they are eligible to receive federal aid.

You can obtain and submit a FAFSA online or through your school’s financial aid office. This article explains the electronic application process.

Completing an electronic FAFSA is free, fast, and easy.

Before You Start Your FAFSA:

The first thing that you will need to do before filling out a FAFSA is to obtain a PIN (Personal Identification Number.) You can apply for a PIN through the U.S. Department of Education at www.pin.ed.gov. Your parents will also need a PIN if you are a dependent.

You can use your PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA, review your Student Aid Report (SAR), print your SAR, reapply for federal student aid annually, and see online information concerning your federal loans and grants.

You’ll need to have a few specific documents handy so that you can refer to them as you fill out your FAFSA. These documents are: your Social Security card (you won’t need this if you have your SSN memorized), driver’s license, previous years W-2 form and any other income records, last years Federal Income Tax Return, and your parents’ Federal Income Tax return from last year. You will also need your untaxed income records (social security, temporary assistance to needy families, welfare, or veteran’s benefits) from last year, current bank statements, and current business and investment information.

Completing A FAFSA:

After you have received your PIN and the needed information, you may start filling out a FAFSA.

1. Go to FAFSA.ed.gov and click on �Filling Out a FAFSA� (it’s step #2 on the left side of the screen.) Follow the instructions and then use your PIN to sign electronically before you begin filling out the application. If for some reason you did not obtain a PIN, you can print, sign, and send in a signature page.

2. Fill out the application.

3. Review your answers very carefully, you won’t want to leave any mistakes.

4. As soon as you have finished the application, click “Submit my FAFSA Now.”

Clicking this button will bring you to a webpage with a confirmation number and an estimated loan or grant amount. You will want to print this page and keep it somewhere safe.

Follow-Up:

When you are done with the FAFSA you will receive a follow-up letter. If you gave them an email address, they will send you an email within five days, if not, you will receive a letter in the mail within two weeks. This email/letter will give provide you with a link to your electronic Student Aid Report (SAR). Follow this link and check your SAR very carefully to make certain your answers are accurate.

NOTE: Use of this article requires links to be intact.