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Tips for Completing the FAFSA


Top 10 Tips

  • Have the following documents available when completing the FAFSA:
    • Most recent year's tax forms or end-of-year pay stubs
    • W-2 forms
    • Records of the most recent year's untaxed income, such as child support and untaxed income from agencies such as Social Services, Social Security, and the Veteran Administration
  • Do not leave blanks for any questions requiring a numeric figure, such as dollar amount or a test score. If your answer to a question is zero, be sure to write '0'
  • Read instructions and follow them carefully; Even if you have completed the form previously, it is not safe to assume that no changes or revisions have been made
  • If you are a parent completing the form for your children, be sure to complete a separate FAFSA application for each student
    • If the financial aid office has questions, they will contact the student first, and it is imperative that both you and your parent are aware of the information
  • Obtain the federal school code from the school or schools you may be interested in attending
  • Check figures and calculations; Mistakes delay the processing of up to 40% of all forms processed
  • The asset questions pertaining to new value are for secondary and investment real estate only; You are not required to report the net value of your primary residence
  • Sign the FAFSA. Both the student and parent (if applicable) must sign and date. You should file early, but do not sign, date, or mail the FAFSA before January 1. By filing early, you may receive favorable consideration for receiving campus-based aid.
  • File a FAFSA every year; Any changes in your family situation should be conveyed to your financial aid administrator and they may affect your eligibility