:: Do I Need To Complete the FAFSA? ::
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to obtain all types of federal financial aid, some types of private and state financial aid, and many scholarships, as well.
It’s important to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible each year because some financial aid programs that require FAFSA information, including some grants and scholarships, have deadlines early in the year. You don’t want to miss out on any financial aid opportunities.
Questions about the FAFSA process? Visit StartWithFAFSA.org, an OCAP website dedicated to providing helpful FAFSA information and resources.
Submitting Your FAFSA
The best way to submit your FAFSA is online at StudentAid.gov, the official FAFSA website. The online application is safe and secure, and much faster than the paper version. If you need a paper version, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800.4.FED.AID.
Gather documents. You'll need your driver's license, social security card, tax papers, bank statements and other documentation when completing your form. If you're completing the FAFSA online, you'll have the option to import your tax information from the IRS, saving lots of time.
Create an FSA ID. To access your FAFSA online, you’ll need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. If this is your first time completing the FAFSA and you have not yet created an FSA ID, or if you forgot your FSA ID username or password, visit StudentAid.gov.
Are you a dependent or independent student? Use this dependency questionnaire to determine your status. If you're deemed an independent student, you won't need to provide your parent's information when completing your FAFSA.
What to Expect
Once you submit your FAFSA, you'll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you have an email address on file, the Department of Education will send an email within three to five business days with instructions for viewing your SAR online. The schools you listed on your FAFSA will also receive a copy of your SAR.
Carefully review the information provided. If additional information is requested, send it as soon as possible. Once your application is submitted, the financial aid office will send you an award letter informing you of your eligibility for various types of financial aid. Remember, you don’t have to accept all of the aid offered. Borrow only what you need for school expenses, like tuition, books and housing.
:: Additional Resources ::
- FAFSA 2023-2024 FAFSA Walkthrough Video (English)
- FAFSA 2023-2024 FAFSA Walkthrough Video (Spanish)
- Overview of the Financial Aid Process (Video)
- Finish the FAFSA in 5 Steps brochure (PDF)