Why Do I Have to Submit FAFSA?


FAFSA is your first and most important step to getting the money you need to help you pay for college.

And the only way to find out if you qualify for any aid is to complete and submit a FAFSA.1

The U.S. Department of Education uses your FAFSA information to calculate your EPC and determine your eligibility for financial aid.

There’s absolutely nothing to lose when you complete a FAFSA form, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for any aid.

FAFSA also puts you in consideration for state aid programs — although eligibility and submission deadline may differ by state.

To begin, here are three (3) options for you to complete and submit a FAFSA: online, PDF and paper.


1. FAFSA Online

The quickest and most convenient way is by doing it online @ www.FAFSA.gov. It is available in both English & Spanish. To help you through the process, step-by-step instructions are provided throughout the online application process.


2. PDF FAFSA

PDF is also available for you to print and fill out manually or is screen-fillable. Remember, you must sign, date, and mail the form to the address provided for processing.


3. Paper FAFSA

If you don’t have Internet access, you can request a paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-319-337-5665.


In addition to submitting your FAFSA, be sure to meet your FAFSA deadline. With more students vying for aid, it’s almost always in your best interest to submit your application sooner rather. When in doubt, contact your school’s financial aid office about the deadline for FAFSA.

And if, for some reasons, filling out the form this year yielded no financial aid for you, don’t let it deter you from submitting it again the following year.


For the unknowing, FAFSA is, as the name suggests, FREE for all applicants. If you are asked to pay to file the FAFSA, most likely you are NOT on an official government website.


The Department of Education has provided a demonstration of the FAFSA application, which is available now. You can login by using the user name, “eddemo” and the password, “fafsatest.”


  1. CollegeUP, Nearly $8 of Every $10 in Student Financial Aid Requires the FAFSA