Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)

To apply for federal financial aid, you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Find out how to complete the form and other key information you need to know at the links below. 

Resources to help you pay for college.

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When does the FAFSA next open?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is being simplified and redesigned to make it easier for applying for federal student aid. This means that students in the class of 2024 attending college in the fall of 2024 and other students completing the FAFSA will not be able to complete it until December 2023 instead of October when it usually opens. We will share more information as it’s available.

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Who should fill out the FAFSA?

If you need assistance paying for college and are eligible for federal financial aid, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal financial aid is available for U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens (like permanent residents and individuals who meet certain noncitizen criteria). The application is free, and help is available along the way. You should complete the FAFSA every year you plan to attend college. You (the student) should complete the FAFSA, but your parent/guardian will also need to create an account to provide some of the required information. For more on student eligibility for financial aid, continue reading this article.

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When should I fill out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is being simplified and redesigned to make applying for federal student aid easier. This means that students attending college in the fall of 2024 and spring of 2025 can complete it in December 2023 instead of October when it usually opens. In future years, the FAFSA will return to opening on October 1. The federal deadline for completing the FAFSA is June 30. However, many states and colleges have their own priority deadlines that may be much earlier. Complete your FAFSA as early as you can to ensure you don’t miss your chance to receive financial aid.

Some types of financial aid are limited. Colleges may award these funds on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit your college’s website to see what their deadlines are. Find your state’s deadline here.

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What information does the FAFSA require?

If you’re considered dependent (completing the FAFSA with your parent(s) information), you need to provide:

  • General demographic information.
  • High school and college information.
  • Federal income tax returns.
  • Current bank statements.
  • Records of investments and other assets.

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Do I need my parent’s information to fill out the FAFSA?

Most students are considered dependent when completing the FAFSA, meaning that parental information is required. Your dependency status determines whose information must be included when you fill out the FAFSA. If you’re considered independent by the FAFSA, you won’t be required to provide parental or guardian information.

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Can undocumented students complete the FAFSA?

Undocumented students, including students with temporary protected status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, aren’t eligible for federal aid. You may be eligible for financial aid from your state, college, or a scholarship provider. Reach out to the financial aid office at the colleges you’re considering. Explore alternatives to federal student aid. For additional information and some frequently asked questions, look here.

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How do I create an FSA ID?

Students who are eligible for and applying for federal financial aid and parents who are required to be listed on the FAFSA need to create FSA IDs.

To create an FSA ID at you’ll need:

  • Your social security number (if you have one). .
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your full legal name (written exactly as it appears on your social security card).
  • An email address you have access to.
  • A mobile phone number (optional).

A social security number, mobile phone number, and email address can only be associated with one FSA ID. This means you can’t make multiple accounts for yourself, and if you share an email or phone number with someone, only one person can use that information to create an FSA ID.

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What happens after I submit the FAFSA?

Once you submit your FAFSA, you’ll receive your FAFSA Submission Summary within a few days if you submitted it online or a few weeks or more if you mailed a paper FAFSA. Review it to make sure everything is correct. The schools you listed will also receive your information.

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