What You Need for The FAFSA
The FAFSA Form may seem confusing, but we can help you avoid making common mistakes that may delay the financial aid process. We are here to help you through the process! Remember, for the 2018-19 FAFSA, you will use the prior prior year's tax forms (2016).
What You Need in Order to Complete The FAFSA
You will need a few pieces of information to be able to successfully submit your FAFSA, here is a list to help you get started:
- Driver’s license
- Any asset information
- Social Security Numbers
- Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal Tax Returns (IRS 1040 and W2s). If you are a dependent you will also need your parent’s tax forms.
- Home School Code(s) USD: 003474 | SDSU: 003471 | DSU: 003463 | NSU: 003466 | BHSU: 003459 | SDSMT: 003470
How to Fill Out the FAFSA
The most common cause for delay is missing signatures. FAFSA must be signed by the student and a parent (if the student is determined to be dependent for financial aid purposes). A Username and Password (FSA ID) is used to sign into your FAFSA.
Two Major Changes to the 2018–19 FAFSA:
• The FAFSA launched on October 1, three months earlier than in previous years. Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize your financial aid.
• The FAFSA now requires the prior prior year's (2016) tax information. This makes it easier to complete your FAFSA! Since you have already filed your 2016 taxes, you can do the FAFSA sooner. You will want to link to the IRS using the Data Retrieval Tool so that you can import your Federal tax information right from the IRS and into your FAFSA. This is fast, accurate, and reduces the amount of paperwork that may be required by your school.
Other useful tips:
- Use your full name as it appears on your Social Security card. Answer all questions as instructed.
- Do not leave question 23 blank. Enter “No” if you have never been convicted of an illegal drug offense.
- Do not include decimals in the income information that you provide.
- Read the instructions carefully before reporting the correct family size.
- If filing electronically, print a copy of your completed FAFSA for your records before submitting.
- File your FAFSA by your Home School's priority date.
After Successfully Submitting the FAFSA
You’ll receive a list of your submitted information called a Student Aid Report (SAR). Any errors can be corrected at the FAFSA website (reference Step Three: Corrections to a processed FAFSA for additional information). Keep all copies of all forms that you use to apply for Financial Aid. Also, keep copies of any forms or letters you receive or send that relates to your financial aid application. If you included your e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail when your SAR is ready to be viewed at www.fafsa.gov
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