Filling out financial aid applications isn’t exactly fun, but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming or challenging as anticipated. Before you sit down to begin the application process, we encourage you to take a moment and review this FAFSA checklist.
In preparation for filling out FAFSA, it’s important to get acquainted with the following:
Filling out FAFSA is time-consuming, however, proper preparation can expedite the process. Make sure to have the following information, if applicable, ready and on hand when you start filling out FAFSA.
Social security card
Driver’s license (and/or alien registration card if you are not a U.S. citizen)
Your most recent federal income tax returns (if you don’t have the current year’s tax returns you can use the previous year’s tax returns)
Any other records of money earned
Parents’ income tax return, W-2 forms, and 1040 forms (IF YOU ARE A DEPENDENT)
Records and documentation of any other nontaxable income received, including:
Social Security income
Additional applicable financial info, including:
Scholarship aid reported to the IRS
Combat pay or special combat pay and cooperative education program earnings
Records of any additional nontaxable income, including:
Child support received
Veteran’s non-education benefits
Money received or paid on your behalf, etc.
Current bank and brokerage account statements, including:
Records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments (if applicable)
Business or investment farm records (if need be)
Records relating to any unusual family financial circumstances including:
Anything that changed from last year or anything that distinguishes the family from the typical family in terms of unusual marital situations, living situations, separations, etc.
Examples include: high unreimbursed medical and/or dental expenses, unusually high dependent care costs (e.g., for a special needs child or an elderly parent), death, divorce, salary reductions, job loss, and private K-12 tuition
Title IV Institution Codes for each school you are applying to
You can get this code from the school (some have them listed on their websites) or you can use FinAid’s Title IV School Code Database.
FSA ID to sign the form (when filling out and submitting your FAFSA electronically)
If you are applying as a dependent (you are a dependent unless declared otherwise) one parent is required to sign as well
To electronically fill out your FAFSA online, your parent should also apply for a FAFSA ID at the same site