All students should file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), as it opens the door to many types and sources of financial aid, including funds that don’t have to be repaid. All schools use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid, and many schools use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for their institutional financial aid. The FAFSA must be completed for each school year.

File Now at StudentAid.gov

Students should file the 2024-2025 FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize aid eligibility.

On Tuesday, January 30th, Federal Student Aid announced that FAFSA processing will be delayed until the first half of March. Despite this processing delay, students should file the 2024-2025 FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize aid eligibility. The status for all submitted FAFSAs will show as “In Review” until FAFSAs are processed in March.

This processing delay is due to updates Federal Student Aid is making to the data tables used to determine financial aid eligibility. The good news is that these updated tables will account for inflation, resulting in many students being eligible for more need-based federal aid.

With the good news, though, also come some delays:

  • Students won’t be able to make corrections or add schools to their FAFSA until sometime in March.
  • Colleges and state organizations won’t receive any FAFSAs until the first half of March. 
  • FAFSA Submission Summaries (FSS) will not be available until sometime in March. If the FSS or Student Aid Index (SAI) is needed for a scholarship, check with the scholarship organization to see what documentation is acceptable and the date by which it is needed.
  • Once colleges receive FAFSA data, they will need time to load records, test their systems, and generate financial aid offers. It is unlikely that colleges will be able to send financial aid offers until sometime in April.

This year is unique for sure, but everyone is dealing with the same delays, and financial aid offices will be in touch as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that schools have different priority filing deadlines, so be sure to research deadlines by visiting the financial aid section of each school’s website. Meeting priority deadlines is the best way to maximize your financial aid eligibility.

You must file a FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid. Next year the FAFSA will be back to its standard release date of October 1.

Get an FSA ID

Before you can file the FAFSA, you will need to create a Federal Student Aid Account. When you create your account, you’ll set up an FSA ID. Your FSA ID is the username and password you will use to access all Federal Student Aid websites, including StudentAid.gov. Your FSA ID must be created and matched by the Social Security Administration before you can file your FAFSA, so create your FSA ID early!

Tips for Creating an FSA ID
  • Be sure to enter your information accurately. The Social Security Administration will verify your information, and making a mistake, especially with your social security number, birth date, or name, will cause delays.
  • If you are a dependent student, parent information will be required on the FAFSA. Your parent(s) — referred to on the FAFSA as “contributor(s)” — will also need their own FSA ID to access and sign their section of the FAFSA.
  • You will use your FSA ID for multiple purposes over the coming years, so be sure you can remember all of the important information associated with your FSA ID. Download and print FAME’s Students: Create Your Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID) worksheet to keep track of your FSA ID information. Parents should download and print FAME’s Parents: Create Your Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID) worksheet. Parents who do not have a Social Security number can download and print FAME’s FSA ID Worksheet for those without a Social Security number. Keep these sheets in a secure location — for example, where you keep tax return information.
  • Keep in mind that an email address and mobile phone number can only be associated with one FSA ID. Students and parents cannot use the same email address or the same mobile phone number.
  • If you have an email address other than your high school email address, use that one to set up your FSA ID. Your high school email access will likely expire over the summer. You will need to use your FSA ID for years to come, so link it to an email address that you will continue to use.
  • Make sure you have access to your email or mobile phone when creating your FSA ID and filing the FAFSA. To create an FSA ID and to file the FAFSA, you must have access to either your mobile phone or email (ideally both) so that you can receive a secure code that will need to be entered into the website. Once verified, your mobile phone and/or email can be used to retrieve your username, reset your password, or unlock your account. A verified mobile phone number or email address can also be used in place of your username.
  • You must set up two-factor verification. To protect your account, you will be required to set up two-factor verification. This will result in a secure code being sent to your verified mobile phone, verified email, or to an authenticator app (if you set it up) each time you log into any of the StudentAid.gov websites. This code must be entered to access the website. If none of these options exist, the backup code that was provided when the account was created can be used, but you will also need to answer two challenge questions.

Creating an FSA ID

Watch FAME’s video for step-by-step instructions on how to create an FSA ID.

When you’re ready to create your FSA ID, go to StudentAid.gov and click on “Create Account.” Be sure to download FAME’s Students: Create Your Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID) worksheet to keep track of your FSA ID information. Parents should download and print FAME’s Parents: Create Your Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID) worksheet. Parents who do not have a Social Security number can download and print FAME’s FSA ID Worksheet for those without a Social Security number.

Gather Your Information for the 2024-2025 FAFSA

You will need to gather some information before you begin filling out the FAFSA. For the 2024–2025 school year, you will need your 2022 income information.

If you are a DEPENDENT STUDENT, you will need the following info for you and your parent(s):
  • FSA ID
  • Social Security number (SSN), legal name, date of birth, and email address
  • 2022 federal income tax returns (including all applicable schedules)
  • Current bank statements

If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you’ll also need:

  • Your U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Form I-151 or I-551C) or Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) with an eligible status

If applicable, you will also need:

  • Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, and stock, bond, and other investment records
If you are NOT A DEPENDENT STUDENT, you will need:
  • Your FSA ID. To create one, go to StudentAid.gov and click on “Create Account.” If you are married but you and your spouse file separate tax returns,  your spouse will also need an FSA ID.
  • Your social security number (SSN)
  • Your (and if married, your spouse’s) 2022 federal income tax return (including all applicable schedules), 2022 W-2 forms, and other records of money earned
  • Your current bank statements

If applicable, you will also need:

  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, and stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-151 or I-551C) or Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) with an eligible status (if you are an eligible non-U.S. citizen)

You can also download and print FAME’s Get Ready to File the 2024-2025 FAFSA checklist for a list of all the information you will need to gather in order to complete the FAFSA.

Review our 2024-2025 FAFSA Tips

Before you file, check out our 2024-2025 FAFSA Tips to make filing as easy and as accurate as possible!

Filling Out the 2024-2025 FAFSA

The FAFSA is now quicker and easier to file! If necessary, you can start your FAFSA, save it, and finish it later.

  • The 2024–2025 FAFSA requires 2022 income information.
  • The FAFSA is a roles-based form; when you log into your section, you will only see student questions. If parent information is required, your parent (referred to as a “contributor”) will only see parent questions when they log into their section. Everyone logging into the FAFSA will need their own FSA ID to access their section of the FAFSA.
  • Either you or your parent can start the FAFSA. Whoever starts the FAFSA will be required to “invite” the other person to complete the FAFSA. The individual who starts the FAFSA must provide the other person’s legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, and email address in order to invite them.
  • You (and your parent(s) if you are a dependent student) will be required to provide consent and approval to allow federal tax information to be sent from the IRS to Federal Student Aid. Consent and approval are required even for individuals who are not required to file taxes. If consent and approval are not provided by all required individuals, you will not be eligible for any federal student aid.
  • The schools you list on your FAFSA will receive your FAFSA information electronically. You can list up to 20 colleges on the FAFSA.

In addition to the FAFSA, complete any additional financial aid applications (e.g., the CSS Profile) that may be required by your school. Check with your school(s) to see what forms are needed.

Need to file the 2023-2024 FAFSA?

Get information and instructions on our Filing the 2023-2024 FAFSA page.

Get Help from FAME

FAME FAFSA Help Sessions

At our FAFSA Help Sessions, we’ll provide a quick FAFSA overview followed by personalized FAFSA filing assistance from FAME and other financial aid experts.

Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support to file the FAFSA that evening! To make that possible, it’s critical that dependent students attend with their parent(s), as it’s no longer possible for a parent to access the FAFSA without both student and parent being present.

Upcoming FAFSA Help Sessions:

Mar 2024

Mar
19
Mar
27

Apr 2024

Apr
2

Click page control (when displayed) to view additional events.

After You File the 2024-2025 FAFSA

Your FAFSA will be processed by the Federal Processing Center. You will not be able to make updates or corrections to your FAFSA until your FAFSA has been processed. Once processed, your FAFSA information will be sent to all of the schools listed on your FAFSA.

What Happens Next

You’ve filed your FAFSA, but are wondering, “What happens next?” This video explains what to expect in the coming months.

Review Your FAFSA Submission Summary

Your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) is a summary of the information you provided on your FAFSA.

  • If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will be sent an email with a link to your FSS once your FAFSA has been processed. Your FSS can also be found by logging in at StudentAid.gov with your FSA ID.
  • Review your FSS carefully. If there is an asterisk next to your SAI, that means you have been selected for verification. See below for more information.
  • If corrections are needed, log in to StudentAid.gov using your FSA ID (username and password), make the corrections, and resubmit your FAFSA. Make sure you and a parent (if required), sign the FAFSA again using your FSA IDs.
  • If information has changed or the FAFSA data no longer reflects your current situation, contact your school.

You May Be Selected for Verification

Verification is a process that requires schools to collect additional income and household information from some students. It does not mean that you did anything wrong!

What is Verification?

You’ve been notified that your FAFSA was selected for a process called verification. Here’s what you need to know.

Your school will let you know what documents are required by sending a letter or email addressed to you (not your parents). Make copies of required documents and send them to your school. Be sure to keep a copy of the original for your records. Students should not send information that has not been requested.

FAQs: 2024-2025 FAFSA

Have a question about the 2024-2025 FAFSA? Be sure to check out our FAFSA FAQs page for frequently asked questions about filling out, completing, and filing the FAFSA.