All financial aid starts with FAFSA.
Every high school senior intending to go to college—and even those who aren’t sure—should file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Sticking to the deadlines is important: You must file your FAFSA any time between Oct. 1 and April 15 to qualify for state and federal financial aid for the next academic year. However, FAFSA recommends completing your application as soon as possible, because some colleges have earlier deadlines.
File online at FAFSA.gov. It’s free, and it usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. But to make things easier, gather all the information you’ll need before you sit down to fill it out:
- A PIN (Personal Identification Number) from pin.ed.gov
- Your Social Security Number
- Driver’s license number (if you have one)
- Your parent’s federal tax forms (1040EZ, 1040A or 1040 and/or W-2s), and your tax forms if you file taxes
- Parent and student untaxed income information (child support, interest income, veteran benefits)
- Asset information (investments, savings and checking account balances) and business or farm records, if applicable.
- Student academic information, such as GPA, test scores and diploma type.
- (See the complete at FAFSA.gov.)
Don’t miss out on money for college. Never assume that you don’t qualify. You’ll never know unless you apply.
Forecast Your FAFSA, Juniors!
Juniors: It’s time to start looking at options for paying for college
FAFSA4caster can help you estimate your eligibility for federal student aid.
Enter some basic information and the “College Cost Worksheet” will provide estimated amounts of other student aid and savings to help finance your college education.
Take a look at the FAFSA4caster at fafsa.ed.gov.