FAFSA is the KEY!
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key
that opens the door to financial aid. It serves as the application for most
of the financial aid from federal and state programs and from colleges and
universities. Even if you are not sure that you will need financial aid,
we recommend that you fill out a FAFSA
anyway -- it's free.
The FAFSA normally launches on October 1 each
year. However, in 2023, the Department of Education is updating the form and
it will not be available until December.
When you file the 2023-24
FAFSA, you will use what the U.S. Department of Education calls the Prior
Prior Year (PPY) for income information. This means that you will use your
2021 income information to complete the 2023-24 FAFSA.
You should submit
the FAFSA as soon after the official starting date as possible, making sure
you meet any college or state deadlines. The quickest and most accurate way
to file the FAFSA
is online. In contrast to a paper copy, the online form displays only the
data entry fields you need to complete. You also receive directions as you
need them. The FAFSA site is also available in Spanish.
the FAFSA you will need an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid), a username and password
that enables you to log in to some Department of Education websites.
may wish to make use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). This tool
transfers your income tax information directly from the income tax form that
you filed onto the FAFSA. You can read more about this process and find out
when your tax information will be available through the IRS DRT here.
Note: Starting with the 2024-2025
school year, the DRT will be replaced by the Direct Data Exchange (DDX).
you prefer to fill out a paper copy of the FAFSA, you can obtain one by calling
the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
FAFSA may not be the only form required to receive an award letter from a
school. You must also complete the college admissions process. Check with
each of the colleges and universities you listed on your FAFSA to determine
If you filed your FAFSA electronically, you will
receive an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR)* within a few days of submitting
your completed FAFSA. (SAR results may take three weeks if you filed a paper
FAFSA.) The SAR is the result of your FAFSA. Read it immediately and follow
any directions. The schools you list on the FAFSA will also receive results.
with the 2024-2025 school year, the Student Aid Report will be replaced with
the FAFSA Submission Summary.