FAFSA Financial Aid Application Form: Your Key To Securing Federal Student Loans
What is meant by the term “FAFSA”? What can it do for you? Where can it be found? And when does it need to be completed?
The process of applying for financial aid inevitably begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for short. The FAFSA application will determine your eligibility for financial aid from the federal government including Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Stafford student loans, Perkins student loans, and work-study programs. Additionally, it is recommended and most colleges require the FAFSA for Parent PLUS and GradPLUS student loans. Complete the FAFSA here.
FAFSA Deadline Information And Requirements
You must fill out a new FAFSA form for each year you plan to be enrolled in school. The best time to apply for college financial aid is between January 1 and March 1, since most schools award student aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you complete the FAFSA application, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which will give you an opportunity to correct previously reported “incorrect information” before the form is sent from the Department of Education to your school.
Helpful References For The FAFSA Form
When you fill out the FAFSA financial aid form, it is helpful to have the following forms and documents handy, because you will need to refer to them and/or use them to provide specific information:
- US Income Tax Returns (IRS Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for the fiscal year that just ended
- W-2 and 1099 forms for the fiscal year that just ended
- Records of untaxed income, such as Social Security benefits, AFDC or ADC, child support, welfare, pensions, military subsistence allowances, and veterans benefits
- Current bank statements and mortgage information
- Medical and dental expenses for the past year, which weren't covered by health insurance
- Business and/or farm records
- Records of investments, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as bank-issued Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and recent statements from any money market accounts
- Social Security Numbers