Online FAFSA Help: What You Need to File

Know When to File the 2018–2019 FAFSA

  • The FAFSA becomes available on October 1, and you must file it each year to be considered for financial aid.
  • Many schools have different priority filing deadlines, with some as early as December 15. 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.
  • Even schools without a deadline may award aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so file as early as possible.
  • If you’ve missed your school’s priority filing deadline, still file your FAFSA. Some types of aid (like Federal Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans) may be available even after priority filing deadlines.

Get Ready

Get an FSA ID now!

The FSA ID is the user name and password students will use to access all Federal Student Aid websites, including FAFSA.gov. All students need an FSA ID. Creating an FSA ID takes about 10 minutes so we recommend getting an FSA ID ahead of time. One parent of a dependent student will also need to create an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA. For more information on creating an FSA ID, watch FAME’s Creating an FSA ID video.

Go to fsaid.ed.gov to create an FSA ID. Use FAME’s FSA ID Information Tracking Sheet to keep track of your FSA ID information.

Gather Your Information

Download and print FAME’s Get Ready to File the FAFSA Checklist.

For the 2018–2019 school year you will need 2016 income information.

Gather the following before you begin the FAFSA.

If you are a dependent student, you will need:

  • Your and your parents’ FSA ID. Get one at fsaid.ed.gov
  • Your and your parents’ Social Security numbers (SSN)
  • Your and your parents’ 2016 W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Your and your parents’ 2016 federal income tax returns, 2016 W-2 forms, and other records of money earned
  • Your and your parents’ current bank statements
  • Print out FAME’s FAFSA Quick Tips. FAME has put together a sheet of helpful hints for navigating through and filling out the FAFSA form. Be sure to have this next to you as you begin filling out your FAFSA.

If applicable, you will also need:

  • Your and your parents’ 2016 untaxed income records
  • Your and your parents’ current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, and stock, bond and other investment records
  • Your alien registration number (if you are an eligible non-U.S. citizen)

 

If you are NOT a dependent student, you will need:

  • Your FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov
  • Your Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your (and if married, your spouse’s) 2016 federal income tax return, 2016 W-2 forms, and other records of money earned
  • Your current bank statements
  • Print out FAME’s FAFSA Quick Tips. FAME has put together a sheet of helpful hints for navigating through and filling out the FAFSA form. Be sure to have this next to you as you begin filling out your FAFSA.

If applicable, you will also need:

  • Your 2016 untaxed income records
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, and stock, bond and other investment records
  • Your alien registration number (if you are an eligible non-U.S. citizen)

Start Your FAFSA

Go to FAFSA.gov to complete your FAFSA. Most people can complete the FAFSA in less than 30 minutes.

If necessary, you can start your FAFSA, save it and finish it later. You will use your password to get back into your saved FAFSA.