What Is The FAFSA?
FAFSA, which stands for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid, is a required application for college-bound high school seniors and current college students. In order to qualify for financial aid, students are required to fill out this application. As of January 1st, 2014 the FAFSA is available to fill out and submit for the 2014 – 2015 school year. But what does the FAFSA encompass? Keep reading!
Five Categories of FAFSA
The FAFSA requests information in five categories. Before you begin, grab your social security card (unless you memorized the number), your driver’s license (if you have one), bank statements or investment records, untaxed income documents, your most recent tax return, and then ask your parent’s to bring all of the same things.
1. Student Demographics: Basically, the FAFSA needs all of your personal information. Make sure to triple check it for accuracy!
2. School Selection: You will be asked to input your high school’s basic information. If you already know what college you’re going to attend or if you’re already enrolled in college, you will be asked to enter their basic information as well.
3. Dependency Status: If you have special circumstances (e.g. deceased parents or if you were adopted), this is where you will make those circumstances known.
4. Parents Demographics: This section will ask for your parent or guardian’s email address, marital status, and how many people live in your household. Make sure to get the correct information from your parent or guardian because these answers may affect how much money you will receive from financial aid.
5. Financial Information: In the last section, you will have to input your parent or guardian’s tax information to complete the FAFSA.
How To Apply For FAFSA
Visit this website to apply for the 2014 – 2015 FAFSA online, or you can apply through mail with a printed paper copy. Applying online is recommended and preferred by FAFSA because it processes immediately and assists with spelling errors. The application should take around an hour to complete, but you will have the option to save it and return to it later – but make sure you finish it!
If you’re still struggling a bit with all the forms, visit this page for additional assistance and resources.