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.
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.
According to National College Access Network (NCAN), high school graduates who complete the FAFSA are 63% more likely to enroll in college than graduates who don’t fill out the form.
FAFSA also puts you in consideration for state aid programs — although eligibility and submission deadline may differ from state to state.
To submit your FAFSA, you have four (4) options: #
FAFSA Mobile #
For the first time, you can now complete the FAFSA form on a mobile device with the same ease as on a desktop or laptop computer using the myStudentAid app. You may download the app in the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
FAFSA on the Web #
Alternatively, you may do it online through www.FAFSA.gov, which has been updated with a new “mobile-friendly” design. To help you through the process, step-by-step instructions are provided throughout the online application process.
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.
Paper FAFSA #
If you don’t have Internet access, you can request a paper FAFSA by calling the
Federal Student Aid Information Center
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 than later.
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. It offers most of the features of the FAFSA on the Web with pre-loaded test data, none of which will be processed.