FAFSA Toolkit for Students & Families | What is the FAFSA?

  • FAFSA is an acronym that stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Colleges and universities use this form to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.

    Why should I complete the FAFSA? When you fill out the FAFSA form, you’re automatically applying for funds from your state, and possibly from your school, in addition to federal student aid. In fact, some schools won’t even consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you’ve submitted a FAFSA form. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get — fill out the application and find out!

    The glossary below defines the terms and acronyms that are most frequently used in student financial aid.

FAFSA Overview Video

Understand and Prepare FAFSA® Form Contributors

What's Changed for the 24-25 FAFSA Form?

Create and Access Your StudentAid.gov Account

Applying for Financial Aid With the FAFSA® Form

Gather Information Required To Complete the FAFSA® Form


    • The FAFSA opens December 31, 2023
    • Current seniors graduating in 2024 will need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA at FAFSA.GOV - website.
    • 2022 Tax information will be used on the 2024-2025 FAFSA.
    • Students can select up to 10 colleges at a time to list on the FAFSA.
    • If a students' parents do not have a Social Security Number, they can use all 0's, and they will need to print and sign the FAFSA signature page.

    Documents Needed to Complete the FAFSA:

    1.)  Your Social Security Number
    2.)  Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
    3.)  Your 2022 federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned
    4.)  Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
    5.)  Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

    If your parents don’t have a Social Security Number they can use all 0’s and they will need to print and sign the FAFSA signature page.

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