A new October means a new FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)! If you plan to attend college in 2019 there are some things you need to know before you go to www.FAFSA.gov and complete your application. To make things easier, we have videos to for each section, so make sure you watch those as well.
Before I dive into the FAFSA it’s important that you get an FSA ID before you begin. If you are required to include parent information then a parent will need an FSA ID as well. Watch this video to help you get an FSA ID.
Now, on to the FAFSA:
The FAFSA, Part 1:
Those who are returning students will notice a new look to the FAFSA. For everyone else, just know this isn’t what we are used to. My #1 tip for you in the first section is to make sure that all the information is correct. There are a number of questions that are prepopulated, but that doesn’t mean they are correct.
Take a look at what you can expect in the first section of the FAFSA:
The FAFSA, Part 2:
The second part of the FAFSA deals with schools, both what high school you attend and what colleges you plan to attend. Make sure to include any college you might attend, especially if you applied for admissions.
Watch this for more info on including schools on your FAFSA:
The FAFSA, Part 3:
Now things get serious. Part three of the FAFSA determines if parent information is required on your FAFSA. There are a few questions to get through, and most students answer “no” to all of them.
You’ll find more details about the dependency questions here:
The FAFSA, Part 4:
Unless you were able to answer “yes” to a question in part three you’ll be moving on to part four of the FAFSA where you’ll be asked questions about parents. New this year is the ability for a parent to log in and complete this information. Just make sure you have the Save Key that was created when you began your application.
The FAFSA, Part 5:
It’s time to talk taxes. Whenever possible, you’ll want to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to link 2017 tax information to the application. For the majority of families, you’ll only have to link the parent tax information, some students do not work enough to file, for them they just enter their wages and any checking or savings account balances. Some of you may need to manually enter information, just take your time and follow the instructions.
The FAFSA, Part 6:
This is it, the final section. All you have to do is sign the form. You’ll need those FSA IDs again, and get ready as it takes many more clicks to get through everything. After you sign the application you’ll get a confirmation page. Make sure you print that for your records.
There you have it, the FAFSA in six easy steps! I know this seems daunting but you can do it. If you need help, contact an EducationQuest office and we’ll make sure you get the answers you need. Don’t wait to get your application done, the sooner you finish it the better your chances are of getting aid.