FAFSA is the form you need to complete to be eligible for Federal grants, scholarships and loans. Below is a quick reference guide detailing how to complete FAFSA
Steps To FAFSA Process
We will focus this on the student side of things, but parents are able to do this for their kids as well.
Step 1: Create an FSA ID
This is where you’ll get your username and password for FAFSA and will need this when you fill out the forms. This link HERE is where you’d be able to create your account for FAFSA.
Step 2: Go to the FAFSA site and start the form
Use your FSA ID you just got and click on the option that mentions you are a student and want to access the form.
Step 3: Do the Student Demographics
This includes all the information about you such as your name and date of birth. If you’ve never done this form before, a lot of the information should save. If not, then you will need to fully fill out this part from scratch.
Step 4: List the Schools that would receive your FAFSA
While you continue on through the FAFSA application, you will get to a section where it will ask you to list out every school you’re thinking about – Even if you haven’t submitted an application to that school yet.
Step 5: Dependency Status
Following where you list out the schools, you will get to a section in the form where you’ll need to answer questions pertaining to whether you’re a dependent or an independent student. These answers will determine whether you need parent’s information or not.
Step 6: Parent Demographics
You will only need to fill out this section if you are a dependent. Skip this step if you’re independent.
This section is where you’d input information regarding your parents for things such as their income.
Step 7: Provide Your Financial Information
You will need to input your financial information here. If you use an IRS DRT, this will allow you to import your tax information into the FAFSA form.
Step 8: Sign and Submit FAFSA
The last step is you will now need to sign and submit using your FSA ID. If you’re a dependent, a parent will also need to sign this form as well. All you need to do now is wait for your application to be reviewed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we will go over some of the most frequently asked questions regarding FAFSA and what it is. You should also dig deeper into how student loans work when you get a chance.
What if I need to call FAFSA? What’s their number?
Their number is 1-800-433-3243. If you would rather email them or speak to a live chat person, click this link HERE and it’ll go to their page.
When is the FAFSA Application Deadline?
For the ’23-’24 school year, you can fill out this form between October 1st, 2022 and 11:59 (CT) June 30th, 2024. It’s recommended to fill this out closer to that October 1st opening in case any corrections need to be made and to make sure you don’t miss out on any financial aid.
What Qualifies you for FAFSA?
The general qualification requirements are you have financial need, are a US Citizen, and are enrolled in an eligible degree at your school. There are other ways to qualify such as things as if you’re not a US Citizen, you have access to a Green Card. Click HERE to see further information regarding further qualifications.
Is FAFSA a Loan or Free Money?
The application itself is free but FAFSA is not the financial aid – Only the application to get financial aid. There are 3 main types of aid given that FAFSA can qualify you for such as gift aid, student employment and student loans. Gift aid can be free money in the form of grants and scholarships. Student employment is money that you earn from a part-time job while in school. Student loans will need to eventually be repaid.
If you need more help regarding student loans and which specific repayment strategy to pick, create a FitBUX Profile and schedule a call and we’d be happy to walk you through the different options you have.
Is there an Income limit to receive financial aid?
There are no income limits regarding FAFSA. What’s determined is how much your schooling costs and what your family should contribute to it.
Most people – Even wealthy individuals – can qualify for unsubsidized student loans. That simply means interest will begin accruing on your loans even while in school.
Figuring out how to complete the FAFSA can be daunting at first but as long as you take it step by step, you’ll be able to finish this process.
If you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay for schooling, be sure to check out FitBUX’s one of a kind financial planning technology for college students.
By David Hughes and Joseph Reinke, CFA