FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid)
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High School Edition
Why fill it out?
The FAFSA is used to determine how much aid you’re eligible for. Think of it this way:
FAFSA: Step By Step
FAFSA Process: 1-2-3
The three steps to apply for federal aid:
Step 3: Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
The SAR is proof that your FAFSA was received. You should receive your electronic SAR in 1-3 days if you signed with your PIN (paper: 2-3 weeks). FAFSA EFC Financial Need Financial Aid. Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, and each successive year once you’re in college:
Early submission maximizes chances of receiving aid.
EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. Your family must contribute this amount in the coming year to your college costs, according to the government’s calculation. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is the code that the U.S. Department of Education uses to identify you online. A PIN allows you to do the following on a FAFSA: To obtain a PIN, eligible students AND parents can visit www.pin.ed.gov (students and parents can each receive their own PINs). Click on “Apply for PIN” near the top of the page. Allow four hours for PIN instructions to be sent via e-mail. Do not reveal your PIN to anyone. The PIN allows anyone to electronically sign federal student aid documents and access your confidential information. PIN: Your Key to Online Identification
Save your FAFSA online if you can’t finish it in one session: Click the “Save” button at the bottom of each step to save info for 45 days.
Remember that the FAFSA is FREE! If you need help, ask your financial aid office or call the FAFSA Help Desk at: 1-800-4-FED-AID. Fill out a “FAFSA on the Web” worksheet: Click “Before Beginning a FAFSA,” then “Print a Pre-Application Worksheet.” Use the print-out as a guide before committing answers online. DO NOT enter online answers directly from the paper FAFSA! Web vs paper FAFSA questions are in a different order!
How does it work?
Your prospective college will try to meet your financial need through aid made up of funds from federal, state, school and private sources. This may include loans, grants, scholarships and student employment.
- Fill out an online renewal form next year
- Check the status - Make corrections
- Electronically sign to speed up the process
Step 1: Assemble forms needed to complete FAFSA
You’ll need the following to fill out the form:
- Social security number
- Current bank statements
- Driver’s license (if any)
- Current mortgage and investment records (if any)
- Alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen)
- 2006 federal tax return (estimates are OK on tax questions)
- 2006 untaxed income records (if any)
- 2006 W2 forms and other record of money earned
- Parents’ 2006 income tax return (if considered dependent)
What is it?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal
Student Aid. The federal government uses this form to determine your eligibility for financial aid, which includes: grants, work-study, scholarships and loans.
Sign the application:
If you are filing as a dependent, make sure your parents sign too. You can use your PIN if signing electronically.
Don’t leave a field blank. If a question doesn’t apply,
Step 2: Complete the FAFSA
Once finished, print the FAFSA summary as well as the “Submission Confirmation” page (or write down your confirmation number and date). If completing the paper version, make a copy for your records.
In order to maximize your amount of aid, fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1.
Complete FAFSA on the Web: www.fafsa.ed.gov.
What if I find errors on my SAR?
If you don’t receive your SAR in 3-4 weeks, call 1-800-433-3243 (1-800-4-FED-AID). Report errors immediately to your financial aid office. You can also make corrections online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov.
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