The Ultimate 2022 FAFSA Guide:

10 Easy Steps To A Successful And Stress-Free Application

Filling out the FAFSA can be an overwhelming task.  It takes some time and effort that we don’t always have.  That’s why we have prepared the FREE FAFSA Guide to simplify your path to receiving federal and state student grants.  

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Let’s be real. College isn’t cheap, but you can reduce some of a financial headache by applying for aid. You can receive help from universities, local and federal governments. The first step to see if you qualify for any financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or (FAFSA).

To complete the (FAFSA), you will need the following:

✔️  Your Social Security Number (you will need to know the legal name and spelling that is listed on the actual card so having the card present at the time of completing the application is preferred)

✔️  Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)*

✔️  Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)

✔️  Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)

✔️  Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

✔️  An FSA ID to sign electronically.

(The FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as a student’s or parent’s identifier to allow access to personal documents and information.  It also serves as an electronic signature for the FAFSA.  Please do NOT share your FSA ID with anyone ever, this includes NOT sharing your FSA ID with your parents.  Also, do NOT allow anyone else to create your FSA ID for you.)

* You are a U.S. citizen if you were born in the United States or certain U.S. territories, if you were born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens, or if you have obtained citizenship status through naturalization. Even though you may not qualify as a U.S. citizen or national, you should still complete the FAFSA because you may qualify for state- or school-funded aid.

You will NEVER ever pay to submit a FAFSA!  It’s FREE!
A new FAFSA is available every October so please complete a new one each year to be eligible to receive money for school.
When completing the FAFSA, make sure that you use the buttons at the bottom of the page that say “previous” or “next”.  Do NOT use the arrows at the top of the page that point forwards or backwards.  You risk losing any information entered and may end up having to start from the beginning.
As you answer each question on the FAFSA, a box will appear to the right that can provide you with more information and guidance if needed.
Once finished, the U.S. Department of Education looks over your submitted information to determine if you qualify for federal student loans or grants. Even if you think there is no chance you are eligible for federal aid, it is still a good idea to fill out the FAFSA and confirm.

Here is a step-by-step FAFSA Guide to help you fill out a FAFSA quickly and efficiently

Create FSA ID

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  • An FSA ID is a username and password you need to sign the FAFSA form online. If you don’t have an FSA ID, get an FSA ID here ASAP.
  • It is important to note that Both students and parents create their own FSA ID and keep them separate. Additionally, Do Not share your FSA ID with ANYONE even each other.

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Go To https://fafsa.gov

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Step 2: When you land on the page above click “Start A New FAFSA”. In order to proceed you will need your Federal Student Aid ID or (FSA ID).

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Start The FAFSA

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  • Students: Click “Enter your (the student’s) FSA ID.” Then submit your FSA ID username and password, and click “Next.”
  • Parents: Click “Enter the student’s information.” Then submit the student’s name, SSN, and birth date, then click “Next.”

Step 3:  Choose which FAFSA form you’d like to complete. This will change based on the timeframe you are looking to enroll in classes.

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        Student Demographics

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Parents: Keep in mind that the FAFSA form is the student’s application, not yours. When the form says “you” or “your,” it’s referring to the student. Be sure and distinguish being asked for student or parent information.

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List Schools      

  • Be sure and add EVERY school you are interested in.
  • It doesn’t hurt your application to add more schools; colleges can’t see the other schools you’ve added.

TIP: To get matched with the best online colleges you can click this link and we will match you with your best options.

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Determine Dependency

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Next is the “Dependency” section that will determine whether you are considered to be dependent or independent.

 If you are asked for information about your parents, then that refers to your birth parents or your adoptive parents only.

If you can answer “yes” to any questions in this section, then you are considered to be independent and will NOT need any parental information.

 

Additional Information

If you are considered to be a dependent, but you have special circumstances as defined by FAFSA, you may be able to submit your application without your parental financial information.

However, you will need to contact each school you plan to attend and receive additional instructions.

You will be required to provide them with documentation about your special circumstances.

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Parent Demographics

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  • If you are required to complete this section, then you will enter information about your birth parents or adoptive parents here.
  • Students will likely find it easier to fill out this section with their parents by their side or with them on the phone.

 

Additional Info

You will be asked to provide their marital status, the number of children they provide support for, and other information regarding their financial status and tax information.

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Supply Financial Information

 

This section applies only to the financial information for the student.  You will answer questions about your taxes and finances here.

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Sign and  Submit FAFSA

You and one of your parents (if required) will sign your FAFSA here using the FSA ID that you created in the beginning. You will need to enter your unique username and password.

  • If you or your parent still does not have an FSA ID, please create one now so that you can sign the FAFSA electronically and submit it. 
  • If you have already used the FSA ID in the FAFSA application as you have been completing it, then it will not be needed here in this section.

Finally, click the button that says “submit my FAFSA now.”

You are then to a confirmation page that lists the colleges you selected as well as the eligibility information.

You will be able to see an estimate of the amount of money that you may receive in Pell grants as well as other loans as needed.

This confirmation page will also be emailed to you.

You are all done!

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You are one step closer to realizing your dreams and earning a degree. If you can show the persistence to finish this process, you can do the same throughout your college career. Now, select your college! We are always here to answer any questions you may have. Just message us on FB or via the Website, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can continue to finding a school that meets your wants and needs by going to our degree help page HERE.

Additional Resources

 

Increase Your Federal AID Eligibility

http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/maximize.phtml


6 Steps to Filling out the FAFSA

http://blog.ed.gov/2014/01/6-steps-to-filling-out-the-fafsa/

 

Filling out the FAFSA

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out

 

Start FAFSA application

http://www.fafsa.gov

 

FAFSA Deadlines

https://fafsa.ed.gov/deadlines.htm

 

Apply For Federal Student ID

https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas

 

Friendly Reminders

  • If you have special circumstances, make sure you reach out and talk with someone from the college or financial aid office.  They can usually help you resolve any questions and will be able to provide more information.
  • If you receive any requests for additional information, respond as soon as possible to ensure that your application and the special circumstances and documents can be reviewed before the semester begins.
  • There is an online chat feature that connects you with a knowledgeable representative to assist you with answering any questions you might have while filling out the FAFSA.
  • You will sign your completed FAFSA with your FSA ID.  If a parent is required to submit information for your FAFSA then they will need to sign THEIR part of the FAFSA using their own FSA ID as well.
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Filling out the FAFSA can be an overwhelming task. It takes some time and effort that we don’t always have.

That’s why we have prepared the FREE FAFSA Guide to simplify your path to receiving federal and state student grants.