FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid
What is a FAFSA?
The FAFSA is:
- A common application for federal loan and grant programs
- Used by colleges to provide financial aid to students
- The first step in applying for New York State aid
- A way to determine if you are eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid Programs
What documents do I need to fill out the application?
- Your Social Security Number (can be found on Social Security card)
- Your driver’s license (if you have one)
- Your latest W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
- Your (and if you are married - your spouse's) latest Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040Telefile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia
- Your parents’ latest Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
- Your latest untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
- Your current bank statements
- Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stocks, bonds, and other investment records
- Your alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) or pass an approved “ability to benefit” test
- Attend a participating college/university as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate
- Register (or have registered) for Selective Service
- Have a result of ‘Eligible’ or ‘Partially Eligible’ on the Drug Conviction question (question 31)
- Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default of a deferral education loan
Note: Other requirements may apply. Contact your financial advisor for more information.
When and how do I apply?
- Check your college’s financial aid application deadlines
- Apply electronically at: www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Fill out a practice worksheet before beginning the online process
- Worksheets are available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before012.htm
- Paper FAFSA:
- Paper copies of the FAFSA are available in high school guidance offices, local libraries, and your college’s financial aid office.
- A paper FAFSA comes with its own self-addressed envelope.
Can I check the status of the application?
If you filed an electronic FAFSA:
- Check the status of your FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Once your paper FAFSA is processed, it is sent to the financial aid office at the college.
- The financial aid office sends you an ‘Award Letter’. This letter tells the type and amount of aid you will receive, and the deadline to accept the offer of financial aid.
Frequently asked questions:
Or call: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
- Make sure your application is filled out COMPLETELY
- Apply for financial aid every year
- Keep copies of everything filed