Filling Out the FAFSA
How do I fill out the FAFSA?
What if I need help while I'm filling out the FAFSA?
Getting Started... Finally.
Let’s assume you’re filling out the FAFSA for the very first time and you’re doing it online via fafsa.gov. 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.
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 FAFSA.gov (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.