Keep your stress level low and plan ahead. Follow these tips to prepare for the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid):

Set Aside Time

The FAFSA can take some time to prepare for and complete. Make sure you allow enough time in your schedule to complete the FAFSA by your financial aid deadlines.

Know Your Deadlines

Submit your FAFSA as soon as you can after October 1.

Deadlines can vary by school, state, program of study, and more. Find out your various deadlines and complete the FAFSA by the earliest one. Even if you miss a deadline, you should still complete and submit the FAFSA. You may be eligible to receive late awards.

Gather Your Documents

Before you begin the FAFSA, gather the necessary paperwork. Having the right information on hand makes completing the FAFSA easier.

Create an FSA ID

To submit your FAFSA online you will need to create an FSA ID with a username and password. This will allow you to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and when signing Federal Student Aid documents.

Use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

To make sure you have what you need when you apply/renew, use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet includes questions in the same order as they will appear in the online application. It's like getting the test questions before you take the test!

Did You Know?

  • Parents must also prepare. If you are a dependent student, a parent must also get a PIN and provide information on the FAFSA. Make sure you give your parents time to prepare.
  • Keep your documentation. Be sure to keep all of the documentation that you gather to complete the FAFSA. You may need this later if your application is chosen for verification.