Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the form used to determine a student's expected family contribution (EFC) towards their college education and eligibility for Federal loans, grants and scholarships. Additionally, many states and individual schools use the FAFSA when figuring student aid.
Where do I get the FAFSA?
Go to the Department of Education website and print out the FAFSA worksheet.
What information do I need to fill out the FAFSA?
If you are a dependent student, you will need the following for the 2009-10 FAFSA:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Driver's license, if you have one
- Your 2008 W-2 Forms and any other records of money earned such as 1099's
- Your (and your spouse´s, if you are married) 2008 Federal Income Tax Return.
- Your Parents´ 2008 Federal Income Tax Return
- Any 2008 untaxed income records, such as Veterans benefits records, Child support received or Worker's compensation
- Current bank statements
- Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will also need your alien registration or permanent resident card
If you are an independent student, then you won't need your parents' tax returns.
Once you have gathered all the information, fill out the FAFSA worksheet. Once complete, you can enter your data online. The FAFSA will need to be "signed". Since you can't literally sign the electronic document, there are several choices:
You can sign electronically using a PIN, you can print, sign and mail a signature page after you submit your FAFSA, or you can sign your Student Aid Report (SAR) and mail it back. Both you and your parents will be required to sign.
There are a few deadlines you need to be concerned with when filing your FAFSA. The Federal deadline for the 2009-10 school year is June 30, 2010 at midnight Central Daylight time. While important, you need to realize that many states have their own deadlines for FAFSA's and schools have them as well. You can see many of the state target dates by checking http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before003a.htm. You will need to contact your school's financial aid office to get the school deadline.
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