FAFSA Tips for the Class of 2025

Financial Aid and FAFSA Resources

Thinking about college after high school? Concerned about how you’ll pay for your education? Financial aid can make a significant difference by making college more affordable and minimizing the amount of money you might have to pay back later.  

Prioritizing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is essential for securing financial aid. If you’re a student in the class of 2025 and planning to attend college the fall after you graduate, you’ll likely complete the FAFSA fall of 2024 or early winter of 2025.  

Here are four steps to take now to prepare you for the upcoming FAFSA application. 

1. Create an FSA ID

Before you start your application, you’ll need to create an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID). Creating your FSA ID is possible at any moment. Doing so before the FAFSA application opens ensures you will be well-prepared and avoid any login issues. 

This username and password is used to complete the FAFSA, take out loans, and log in to all Federal Student Aid websites. Anyone who contributes to your FAFSA (usually parents or guardians) will also need to create a separate FSA ID. 

2. Set Up Multifactor Authentication 

Securing your financial future in college is important, but not as important as securing your personal identifiable information. Make sure to set up multifactor authentication. Each time you log in, you’ll be asked to provide a one-time code that is delivered to you via email, text message, or an authenticator app. It’s important to send the code to a reliable email address or phone number. 

3. Gather FAFSA Application Documents 

To complete the FAFSA Application you'll need the following documents:

  • Your parent's Social Security number if you're a dependent student. 
  • Tax returns
  • Records of child support received
  • Current balances of cash, savings, and checking accounts
  • Net worth of investments, businesses, and farm

Talk to your parents or guardians about where you’ll be able to access this information when it’s time to start completing the FAFSA in fall or winter. 

Take our Financial Aid Quiz to receive an estimated range of your eligibility for federal financial aid. By providing your parents' or guardians' financial information along with your own, you'll gain valuable insights to better prepare you in securing your college experience.

4. Be Aware of Financial Aid Deadlines

During the FAFSA application you’ll be asked to provide a list of colleges, universities, or career schools you’d like to share your FAFSA information with. Keep track of important financial aid and scholarship deadlines for these schools. Some colleges and universities have an earlier deadline and require the FAFSA for institutional scholarships and grants. 

These are important steps to take if you are completing the FAFSA for the first time. If you are a younger student, we recommend you learn about net price versus sticker price now. 

If you are a returning college student, be sure to get important deadlines from the financial aid office to ensure you complete the FAFSA on time

To learn more about the FAFSA application process, check out resources available on BigFuture.