Filling out the FAFSA® form can be a straightforward and easy process. Below are some tips to help you along the way.
HOW TO FILL OUT A FAFSA VIDEO
The FAFSA Process graphic—Walks through the process of preparing for, completing, and submitting a FAFSA form. Includes information on what happens after the form is submitted.
Creating an Account
We strongly recommend you create your account before starting your FAFSA form. Your account username and password combination, called your FSA ID, gives you access to certain information online and allows you to sign your FAFSA® form and promissory notes electronically. While you can get your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA form online, getting it ahead of time and using it to fill out the FAFSA form on fafsa.gov cuts down on errors and delays. Find out how to get an FSA ID and what to do if you forget your FSA ID.
Important note: If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA form will also need an FSA ID so that your parent can sign your application electronically. If your parent doesn’t have a Social Security number (SSN), your parent won’t be able to create an FSA ID (which requires an SSN). This means you’ll have to select the option to print a signature page when you get to the end of your FAFSA form.
Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA application:
Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
Your driver’s license number if you have one
Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- IRS Form1040
- Foreign tax return or IRS Form 1040-NR
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
Federal tax information, tax documents, or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student