Completing the FAFSA
Why fill out the FAFSA? The FAFSA is your primary tool to qualify for federal programs such as Pell grants, work-study programs and loans. You cannot qualify for any federal aid, including work-study, without the FAFSA. States and colleges also frequently use the FAFSA to qualify students for local financial aid, as well as for school grants and scholarships.
The first "F" in FAFSA stands for “free.” At no point should you be charged to complete an application.
Begin by creating a Federal Student Aid ID to log into the form, and complete and sign it electronically.
You and your parent each need create your own FSA IDs so you each can electronically sign it.
You need to keep a record of this ID because you will need to use it each year when you do your FAFSA.
Now go to the FAFSA website-for some reason if you are at GWAMA doing this, you must use the EDGE browser (the e on the taskbar) and not the chrome browser.
If it is your first time to the site click on START HERE >
If you have logged in before go to LOG IN >
Make sure you are filling out the 2020-21 FAFSA, not the 2019-20 form.
You may also do this on your phone by downloading the myStudentAid app
In the finances section you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) that allows you to upload tax forms without having to get them yourself ahead of time. You’re eligible to use this tool if you (and your parents) have already submitted your taxes for the year. If you’re eligible, you’ll see a Link to IRS button at the bottom of the page. Once you’ve completed the transfer, you should receive a message confirming that it was a success.
In all fields the IRS can answer, you’ll see Transferred from the IRS. But look over your form for blank fields, and fill out any required information the IRS wasn’t able to answer for you.
You can pick up to 10 schools to receive your financial information. You do not need to have applied to those schools yet. Each institution has a federal school code to list on the FAFSA.
What if I want to apply to more than 10 schools?
Once you received confirmation that your FAFSA is processed, you can log back into your account, delete whatever schools were listed before, enter the names of the additional schools and re-submit your form. The schools you entered originally still will have your information on file.
I have questions and there is no one to ask
These sites give you a step by step
Many answers to more complicated questions are here:
U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are eligible for federal aid even if their parents are non-citizens. In this case, parents should enter all zeros in the field asking for a Social Security number. These parents would not be able to sign a FAFSA electronically, so they need to print the signature page and mail it (which can delay the process by up to six weeks).
Students who are in this country as non-citizens and DACA recipients are not eligible for federal financial aid and cannot complete a FAFSA but are eligible to complete the TAFSA.