How to File a FAFSA

Many seniors in high school stress greatly about their financial situation as college approaches. The thought of filing a FAFSA only adds more stress to students. This tutorial will show you how to file for FAFSA. The process takes some work and planning, but it will help you achieve greater financial security in the end.


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    Prepare your documents. You'll need computer access, your parents tax returns for the previous year, your social security card, and your driver's license.
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    Go to the FAFSA Website. You must create your own account.
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    Enter your details. Quickly fill in the information with your first name, last name, social security number, and birthday. Then you will need to set up a four digit pin; you will need it to log in later, so keep it safe and secure, and don't forget it.
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    Complete the Benefits and Information page. This portion takes the longest to complete. You will need to fill in your marital status, citizenship, and gender. It will also ask if you have a bridge card, medicaid, TANSF, or government assistance. Once you have checked the corresponding boxes, make sure you go back and check them for accuracy.
    • If you're unsure of your answers for any of the items they ask you about, ask your parents or check your records, rather than guessing. Answering incorrectly or incompletely may affect the aid you're awarded.
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    Provide your education information. For the education portion it is just asking where you went to school, and if your received a diploma. Shortly after, it will take you to the college link page. This page will allow you to access and provide your college code. Providing this school code (a number) allows the government to follow up with your school to check your application accuracy and provide the aid that you qualify for. The last part of this page will ask you whether you will be in a dorm, or living with your parents. Pick the correct option for each school. After this step is done, you will now fill out tax information. br>
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    Fill out the tax and parental information. The form will ask you about your tax/income records, as well as your parents', for the previous year.
    • The IRS link tool allows you to access this information through IRS records. This website will auto-fill the information needed for the tax part of the financial aid application. Once it fills the corresponding information on the tax worksheet, double check everything for accuracy.
    • After this step is done, hit the next button, which will ask more about your parents, including their social security numbers, household size, and marriage dates.
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    Sign and submit your FAFSA. You will then hit the "I Agree" option. This confirms that you've filled out the FAFSA accurately to the best of your knowledge. After completion, you will receive a personal email from the FAFSA website that will tell you the application has been completed.
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    Follow up with your school. The financial aid department at your school will let you know if they need any more information from you. It usually takes two weeks for the FAFSA to be processed. Be patient, but follow up if you don't hear anything from them after that period.


  • ]*Do not share your social security with anyone, under any circumstances..
  • Make sure you file your FAFSA around late April; this way one can purchase books early with financial aid.
  • If you are unsure about something on FAFSA application, hit save, and revisit it after researching more.
  • Always list up to five colleges which interest you just in case you change your mind.
  • Make sure to always follow up with your school, as they will hand you other documents that need to be filled out.
  • Make sure you always refer back to your tax information while completing the FAFSA


  • If you pass the June 31st deadline, you financial aid will take a very long time to process.
  • Identity theft is real; always keep personal information to yourself.

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Categories: Finance and Business