Counselor's Corner

October 2021

Seniors: Are you ready for the FAFSA?

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually (starting on October 1st) by current and perspective college students to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. It is the tool that colleges will use to determine students' financial aid packages. Some families mistakenly think they don't qualify for the FAFSA and don't complete it. However, you may not realize that students cannot borrow even $1 in student loans unless they complete the FAFSA. Some sources of financial aid have deadlines, so it is highly recommended that you get this important step done early.

What items you will need to complete your FAFSA:

1. Student & Parent FSA Account

If you haven’t already, create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) account by setting up a username and password. Each student, and—if you’re a dependent—one of your parents, will need an FSA account (also known as an FSA ID) to complete the FAFSA process on fafsa.gov. We recommend creating your account early—even before you’re ready to complete the FAFSA form—to avoid delays in the process. That’s because you may need to wait up to three days to use your FSA account after creating it. Create an FSA Account

IMPORTANT: Do NOT create an FSA account on behalf of someone else. That means parents should not create FSA accounts for their children and vice versa. Doing so may result in issues signing and submitting the FAFSA form and could lead to financial aid delays. (Also, it’s against the rules to create an FSA account for someone else.)

2. Student & Parent's Social Security Number

Both parents and students need this information for the FAFSA form.

3. Your Driver’s License Number

If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t worry about this step.

4. Your 2020 Tax Records

On the 2022–23 FAFSA form, you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) will report your 2020 income information.

  • Since you’ll probably already have filed your 2020 taxes by the time the FAFSA form is available, you may be eligible to import your tax information into the FAFSA form right away using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
  • Not everyone is eligible to use the IRS DRT; and the IRS DRT does not input all the financial information required on the FAFSA form. Therefore, you should have your 2020 tax return and 2020 IRS W-2 available for reference.

The IRS DRT is the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form. To address security and privacy concerns related to the IRS DRT, the tax return information you transfer from the IRS will not display.

5. Records of Your Untaxed Income

The FAFSA questions about untaxed income, such as child support, interest income, and veterans’ non-education benefits, may or may not apply to you. On the 2022-23 FAFSA form, you’ll report 2020 tax or calendar year information when asked these questions. Find specific details that pertain to parents and students.

6. Records of Your Assets (Money)

This section includes savings and checking account balances, as well as the value of investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate excluding your primary residence. Report the current amounts as of the date you sign the FAFSA form, rather than reporting the 2019 tax year amounts.

Note: Misreporting the value of investments is a common FAFSA mistake. Please carefully review what is and is not considered a student investment and parent investment to make sure you don’t over- or under-report. You may be surprised by what can (and cannot) be excluded.

7. List of the School(s) You Are Interested in Attending

Be sure to add any college you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet.

  • Even if there is only a slight chance you’ll apply to a college, list the school on your FAFSA form. You can always remove a school later if you decide not to apply, but if you wait to add a school, you could miss out on financial aid.
  • The schools you list on your FAFSA form will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically. They will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of financial aid you may receive.
  • If you add a school to your FAFSA form and later decide not to apply for admission to that school, that’s OK! The school likely won’t offer you aid until you’ve been accepted anyway.
  • You can list up to 10 schools at a time on your FAFSA form. If you’re applying to more than 10 schools, here’s what you should do.

Who's my parent when I complete the FAFSA?

Big picture

STEP ONE: CREATE FSA IDS

Both the student and the parent/guardian need their own FSA IDs -- this is how you sign the completed document.

STEP TWO: COMPLETE THE 2022-23 FAFSA

Class of 2022 will be filling out the 2022-2023 FAFSA.


Complete the 2022-23 FAFSA..


Access the FAFSA here: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa or you can download the FAFSA app (myStudentAid) in the App Store or Google Play.


Click here for a video on "how to" fill out the FAFSA

STEP THREE: NEXT STEPS FOR AFTER YOU SUBMIT YOUR FAFSA

THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLIATION WILL BE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Processing: Your application is still processing. It typically takes three to five days, plus one additional business day to be made available to the schools you listed on the form.
  • Processed Successfully: Your application was processed successfully. No further action is needed.
  • Missing Signatures: Your application is missing the required signature(s).
  • Action Required: Your application requires further action. Contact your school to resolve the issue.


REVIEW YOUR STUDENT AID REPORT (SAR)
The SAR is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. The SAR won't tell you how much financial aid you'll get. If you've been accepted at a college or career school that you listed on your FAFSA form, the school will calculate your aid and send you an electronic or paper aid offer, sometimes called an award letter, telling you how much aid you're eligible for at the school.

Need more help? Please contact Federal Student Aid

Hours of operation
Monday-Friday
8 a.m. - 11 p.m (Eastern time)
Saturday-Sunday
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Eastern time)

Phone - 800-433-3243
Email - https://studentaid.gov/help-center/contact#all-aid-fsaic use this link to click on the email option.


Closed on federal holidays, the day after Thanksgiving and on December 24th.