7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important first step in your quest to fund your education. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal student financial aid, and some private scholarships also look at the FAFSA to determine your amount of need for financial aid. So it pays to fill it out.
The website can be found at www.fafsa.gov but before you head over there check out the videos below.
We recommend watching this first one all the way through before starting your FAFSA application (don't worry, it's short). It will give you a helpful list of the items you should gather before starting.
FAFSA Worksheet and Deadlines
The worksheet below will help prepare you for the kind of questions you'll be asked and the information you'll need to gather when you fill out the FAFSA. We recommend looking at it early so that you've got time to gather everything you need before the submission deadline.
And speaking of deadlines, the second form below lists all of the deadlines – both federal, and state – for submitting your FAFSA. Colleges have their own deadline for it as well, so you should check with the schools you're applying to to find out when it is. But the best rule of thumb is just to submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible. The reason you want to do it early is because, while the federal deadline is June 30th, many of the state deadlines are as early as February. In other states there is no fixed date. They start handing out awards on January 1st and they stop whenever they run out of money. In other words, first come, first served. So be early!
The FAFSA: Step-by-step
This second video is much longer, but goes through the entire application step-by-step answering common questions along the way. Very helpful if you've never had to worry about stuff like tax returns or dependency status before. It explains all that! We recommend playing this at the same time you're filling out your own form. She will answer a lot of the questions you have right on the spot.