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Get it Together: What you need to Complete the FASFA

In order to qualify for any sort of government aid will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  This document will help the government better understand your financial situation and help them determine which type of financial assistance you qualify, and for what amount.  The application may even make you eligible for certain awards from the college of your choice. Filling it out is no walk in the park as the process can be long and somewhat complicated. 

To save you some time and a few headaches here are some things you should gather before you get started:

If you are a dependent of your parents:

  • Your parent’s most recent tax return.
  • Your parent’s most recent W2
  • Your FAFSA PIN and your parent’s PIN (apply for one here)
  • Your driver’s license
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your parent’s Social Security numbers and birth dates
  • Your parents current checking and savings account statement
  • Your current checking and savings account statement
  • Your parent’s investment, farm, or business records

If you are independent:

  • Your most recent tax return.
  • Your most recent W2
  • Your FAFSA PIN. (apply for one here)
  • Your driver’s license
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your current checking and savings account statement
  • Your investment, farm, or business records.
  • Your children’s Social Security numbers and birth dates

Once you’ve gathered all of the information, the application shouldn’t take too long to complete.   

It’s important to note that there are several official looking web pages that are not the government page. Beware of these as they will take your personal information.  Remember that the official form is free so if at any point you’re asked to enter payment information, it is a scam.

It’s not Over

If your family’s financial situation suddenly changes after you’ve completed the FAFSA form, you can ask for special consideration from your school’s financial aid department.  Circumstances where this form would be considered include:

  • Job loss or other income loss
  • Change in marital status
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • High medical or dental expenses

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