The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA,
is the application for grants, loans, and work-study funds
provided by the federal government.
It is also used by many states and schools for their
financial aid programs.
For the fastest and easiest way to apply,
visit our official website, fafsa.gov.
The FAFSA is available in English and Spanish.
As you fill it out online you'll be able to automatically skip
questions that don't pertain to you, check out your status
immediately, and get online help.
It takes most people less than 30 minutes to complete
the application. You'll need a few things when you fill it out,
so get ready by gathering your
Social Security number,
your Permanent Resident Card if you have one,
any W-2 forms or records of money you earned for
the previous year, and your tax records.
By the way, a nice time-saving feature of the FAFSA is that
many people are eligible to automatically transfer their
tax data from the IRS into the FAFSA.
So keep an eye out while you're applying,
in case you're offered that option.
If you have any questions about what information to gather,
there is a complete list of documents that you will need
Before you begin the process of filling out the FAFSA,
you should create a user name and password called an FSA ID
that will act as your electronic signature.
You'll only need to create an FSA ID once; and you can use it
to renew your FAFSA each year that you apply.
Your parents will need an FSA ID too if they have
to provide any information.
So now you're ready to begin filling out the FAFSA
to apply for financial aid.
There are three groups of questions that include
personal information, such as your name, address,
and marital status;
financial information, such as your income;
and any parent information that is required.
If you get hung up or confused about a question,
the "Help and Hints" box on the right-hand side of
the application can help with each question as you move along.
Also, look for the online chat feature under "Help" if you
would like assistance from a knowledgeable agent.
Because colleges and career schools use the FAFSA to provide
financial aid, you can list up to 10 schools that you are
interested in attending.
You should list all of the schools that you are
considering, even if you haven't been accepted or applied yet.
If you have more than 10 schools in mind, you can submit your
FAFSA with 10 schools and then replace some of those schools
with other schools later.
When you finish filling out the FAFSA, use your FSA ID
to sign the form.
If you are required to submit parent information on your
FAFSA, a parent will need to sign the application with his
or her own FSA ID as well.
If you have any questions or need more information,
please visit StudentAid.gov.