The FAFSA Is Changing. What Can You Do Now To Prepare?

Resources to help you pay for college.

If you’re thinking about college and postsecondary education after high school, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to afford it. Financial aid is a critical part of the college planning process for many families and can help you open doors to your future.

When it comes to securing financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is the key to opening the doors of your future. FAFSA gives you access to federal grants, work-study opportunities, federal loans, and numerous state scholarships.

Start your FAFSA and get the latest updates here.

Create Your FSA ID

There is one action you must take before starting your FAFSA, create your FSA ID.

An FSA ID consists of a username and password you create to gain access to the U.S. Department of Education’s online systems. An FSA ID is your legal signature when completing the FAFSA. With these four steps, your information will be automatically added to your application.

  1. Go to fafsa.gov or studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.
  2. Provide your Social Security number, full name, and date of birth.
  3. Create a username and password, including identifying a security question so you can retrieve your account information if you forget it.
  4. Provide contact information—either your personal mobile phone number or email address.

It’s also likely that your parent or guardian will need to provide information on the FAFSA. Parents and guardians are considered contributors to the FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, encourage your parent to create a FSA ID too.

Tips to Help You Prepare for Filing for FAFSA

  • Save the information you used to create your FSA ID. You’ll need your FSA ID later when accessing the FAFSA application.
  • During the application process, if you and your parent(s) filed a 2022 federal tax return, you will be asked to consent to share IRS tax data with the U.S. Department of Education. This direct data exchange process reduces the steps you and your family will need to take in completing the FAFSA. Before starting your FAFSA, gather tax returns and bank statements for easy reference.
  • Watch Federal Student Aid’s “2024–25 FAFSA FAQs” playlist to better understand what’s changed on the new form and how to get started creating FSA IDs.

After You Complete the FAFSA

It may take several weeks for your selected schools to receive your FAFSA information after you submit. Keep an eye on your email to ensure you don't miss any important notifications from schools.  

Visit Federal Student Aid for more information after you submit your application.