FAFSA is the Free Application for Student Financial Aid, the form all families should complete to see if they qualify for federal aid (and with the high cost of tuition these days, many families, even more wealthy ones, DO qualify). This is also the mechanism for getting student and parent loans, as well as some college scholarships. If you're still not convinced that you need to complete the FAFSA, please take a moment and check out these common myths concerning federal financial aid.
To make your job easier gather this information before sitting down to fill out the FAFSA:
- Social security number for parent(s) and student.
- Driver’s license number for student.
- Tax forms for parent(s) and student (you can use estimated figures now and adjust them later).
- Records of untaxed income, such as payments to tax-deferred savings plan for you and your child
- Current bank statements for parent(s) and student.
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable).
- Information about any business that parent(s) or student owns, as well as investment mortgage information, stock, bond and other investment records.
- A list of colleges and universities (up to 10) to receive your FAFSA information.
The student and one parent will need an FSA ID, which will include a user name and password to be able to electronically sign the FAFSA You can create a FSA ID now at StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
Remember, you do need to complete a FASFA each year of college, although it's easier after the first time. There are some first-come, first-served aid programs, which is why you want to submit your FAFSA as this fall. Here are some great tools that should answer all of your FAFSA questions.