Here is an extremely helpful video, 25 min length, of a complete walkthrough of the FAFSA by UtahFutures: Click here
Filling out the FAFSA® form can be a straightforward and easy process. Select the "START HERE" button on the home page, and just follow the directions on the screen. Below are some tips to help you along the way.
Providing Financial Information
The FAFSA form asks for financial information, including information from tax forms and balances of savings and checking accounts.
- The 2020–21 FAFSA form asks for 2018 tax information.
Creating an FSA ID
We strongly recommend you create an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA® form electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to access the myStudentAid app, sign loan contracts, and access certain information online. While you can get your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA form online, getting it ahead of time and using it to begin your FAFSA form on fafsa.gov or on the myStudentAid mobile app cuts down on errors and delays. Find out how to get an FSA ID and what to do if you forgot your FSA ID.
Important note: If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA form will also need an FSA ID so that he or she can sign your application electronically. If your parent doesn’t have a Social Security number (SSN), your parent won’t be able to create an FSA ID (which requires an SSN). This means you’ll have to select the option to print a signature page when you get to the end of your FAFSA form on fafsa.gov (this option isn’t available in the myStudentAid app).
Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the application:
- Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
- Your driver’s license number if you have one
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
- IRS 1040
- Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
Keep these records! You may need them again.
Listing Colleges and/or Career Schools
While completing the FAFSA form, you must list at least one school to receive your information. The schools you list will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of aid you may receive. Use the Federal School Code Search to find the colleges you’re interested in including on your FAFSA form.
For purposes of federal student aid, it does not matter in what order you list the schools. However, to be considered for state aid, some states require you to list schools in a particular order (for instance, you might need to list a state school first). Find out whether your state has a requirement for the order in which you list schools on your FAFSA form.
You can list up to 10 schools online or in the mobile app or up to four schools on a FAFSA PDF. (You can add more schools to your FAFSA form later.) Schools you list on the application will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically.
Note: Schools will not be able to see which other schools you listed on your FAFSA form.
Here is another great site that can help guide you in completing your FAFSA. https://blog.ed.gov/