Pay for College

Explore college costs and plan how you'll pay for your degree or certificate.

A Quick Guide to Completing the FAFSA

Learn about the key to financial aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for most all forms of financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional aid. Submit the FAFSA right after January 1 for each academic year you need aid. Here's a quick guide to tackling the FAFSA.

  1. Prepare ahead by gathering information. You should have ready financial information, including annual income, taxes paid, untaxed income, current assets, and so on.
  2. Go to FAFSA on the Web or request a paper copy of the FAFSA.
  3. Answer all the questions, even if you have to estimate. You'll have an opportunity to correct your answers later if necessary.
  4. List all schools you wish to attend. Your FAFSA information will be sent to these schools automatically.
  5. Don't forget to sign the form as you need, electronically or on paper. Your parent may need to sign also.
  6. The Department of Education will process your information and calculate your expected family contribution — how much money your family is expected to provide for your college expenses. The Department will provide this information to you in the form of the Student Aid Report, and forward details to schools you listed on the FAFSA.
  7. Schools that have admitted you will use your FAFSA data to calculate your financial need and put together an award package to help meet that need.

A video guide to the FAFSA



Watch the video in Spanish



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