Filling Out the FAFSA

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Filling Out the FAFSA

How do I fill out the FAFSA?

There are a couple of ways to fill out and submit the FAFSA form:

What if I need help while I'm filling out the FAFSA?

  • Hints for Each Question

    “Help and Hints” are located on the right side of any FAFSA entry page. (The hints change depending on what question you’re on.)

  • Need Help? at Bottom of Each Page

    At the bottom of any FAFSA entry page you can click “Need Help?”  Note: Clicking “Need Help?” doesn’t close the page you’re working on, so you don’t have to worry about losing your place in the application.

  • Chat with Someone

    Chat (in English or Spanish) with live tech support person by clicking the “Help” icon with the big question mark at the top of any FAFSA entry page, and then selecting “Contact Us,” “Federal Student Aid Information Center,” and then “Chat With Us.” (Note: The “Chat With Us” option is only visible during business hours.

  • Get Detailed Info for Each Question

    Click here to get detailed information about each and every question before you get started.

  • College or School You're Applying To

    Contact the financial aid office at a college or career school you plan to attend.

Getting Started... Finally.

Let’s assume you’re filling out the FAFSA for the very first time and you’re doing it online via At that link you’ll choose “Start a New FAFSA”.

FYI… Remember that you’ll need to submit a FAFSA each year you apply for aid so in future years you’ll login as a “Returning User”. I know it seems like a no-brainer but sometimes it’s the simple things that we miss so just throwing it out there.

fafsa home page

Start, Save, Start Again, Finish

Near the beginning of the application you’ll create a “SAVE KEY” which is just a temporary password that you’ll use so you can enter information into the application on more than one occasion. You’ll be able to start your FAFSA form, save it without finishing it, then have the ability to open it again later to work on it.

Parents and students share the SAVE KEY/password which allows them to work on the FAFSA from separate locations and at different times.


Listing Colleges &/or Career Schools

The schools you list will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of aid you’ll qualify for whether it’s federal, state or school based aid.

For federal aid it doesn’t matter what order you list the schools BUT some states require that you list the schools in a particular order (for example….you might need to list any state schools first).  To find out if your state has a requirement for the order schools are listed, click the button below…

You can list up to 10 schools if you’re filing your FAFSA online at (only 4 schools on a paper FAFSA form), although you can always add more schools to your FAFSA form later.

Schools you list on the application will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically and then work their magic to figure out what you qualify for.  But, as we mentioned before, even if you’re just “considering” a school you should include it on the FAFSA so you don’t miss out on any “first come first served” financial aid.

FYI… Schools won’t be able to see which other schools you listed on your FAFSA form.

fafsa school list