Going to College? It’s FAFSA Time!

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA is now open! Did you know that the earlier you apply, the more money for school you can get? This year in particular because of the FAFSA delay, there is a shorter amount of time to make an informed financial decision about which college to attend. Check your institution’s priority deadline and fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can. Please see below for steps you should take and things to consider:

    1. Gather the documents you need

    • Your Social Security number

    • Your driver’s license number if you have one

    • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen

    • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student: IRS 1040

    • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

    • If you are with your family, you will need your parent’s Social Security numbers

    2.  Create a FSA ID 

    • Login to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch 

    • Everyone who will be putting information into an online FAFSA will need to create an FSA ID to access the form. This means if you are with your family, your parent(s) or legal guardian will need to create an FSA ID as well. If you are an unaccompanied homeless youth you only need to create an FSA ID for yourself 

    • The FSA ID will need to be created and confirmed prior to accessing a FAFSA and can take up to three days to use the account.

    3. Login to FAFSA.GOV and begin your application

    • Visit https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

    • If this is the first time you’re filling out the FAFSA, click on the New to the FAFSA button. Remember and keep your login information safe. Use an email address that you can check often (avoid using a high school email address because access may be disabled) 

    • If this isn’t the first time you’re filling out the FAFSA, click on the Returning User Login button and enter your login information 

    • Start a 2024-2025 FAFSA Application and answer the questions 

    4. Non-U.S. Citizens

    Some non-U.S. citizens *are* eligible for federal student aid, but it depends on their classification.  The majority of colleges require students to complete the FAFSA form even if they don't qualify for aid.  The reason is that they may qualify for in-house scholarships and other opportunities that individual schools may offer.  When in doubt, a parent/student is advised to call the school's financial aid office and ask for help. 


    5. Determine if you need to include parental information

    You should include parental information, unless you  meet any of the following eligibility requirements.  If you meet one or more of the eligibility requirements below, then you are an independent student and do not need to include parental information on the FAFSA.

    • Over the age 24

    • Married 

    • A Graduate or professional student

    • A veteran 

    • A member of the armed forces

    • An orphan 

    • A ward of the court 

    • Someone with legal dependents other than a spouse 

    • An emancipated minor

    • A youth who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless


    Homelessness on the FAFSA means you are an unaccompanied homeless youth. You are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and meet one of these living situations: 

    • Staying with other people temporarily because you lost your housing or similar reason;

    • Staying in a shelter;

    • Staying in a motel/hotel due to lack of alternatives;

    • Staying in a car or other unsheltered situation;

    • Living in a campus residence hall but otherwise would have nowhere else to go

    If you are experiencing homelessness but you are in the physical custody of your parents or guardians, or if you do not meet any of the above requirements, you DO need to include parental information and you will include your parent or guardians’ information in the parent section of the FAFSA.

    6. If you don’t need parental information because of your living situation, get a determination from an authorized party. 

    If you are an independent student because you are experiencing homelessness on your own, you will need a determination in order to apply for financial aid without your parent’s information. Please contact your school social worker who can provide a determination.

    7. Lastly, if you’re unsure about a question, ASK! 

    It's very important that the information you enter on the FAFSA is accurate, so it's best to take it slow and ask for help by clicking the link below or reach out to your school counselor.

    For Additional FAFSA Resources and Information, Click Here