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.

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 a Federal Student Aid Account (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.

Did You Know?

  • Contributors must also prepare. If you are a dependent student, a parent must also get an FSA ID and provide information on the FAFSA. Sometimes stepparents and spouses also need to contribute information. Make sure you give your contributors 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.