FAFSA, or the Free Application for Financial Student Aid, is the form students must fill out and submit to apply for free for federal and state student grants, work-study funds, and loans. Oct. 1 was the first date when the new forms were available and could be turned in. Although FAFSA forms can be submitted through June 30, 2022, many states and colleges have submission deadlines in October 2021. So the earlier you submit the FAFSA, the better your chances for financial aid.
You can find out more on how to apply at the official FAFSA website, which also explains how to fill out the form online. You also can fill out your FAFSA on the myStudentAid app, available on the Apple app store or on Google play for Android users.
Students also can print out a PDF of the FAFSA to fill out by hand and mail in (the date is for the 2021-22 school year, but the process is the same). Or, students can request a printout of the FAFSA PDF by calling 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243). Once you receive the hard-copy form, fill it out and mail it for processing.
This graphic shows all the steps that students and families must take to fill out a FAFSA successfully. The first step is to create a FAFSA ID, which will be the permanent number students use to apply for financial aid. The same number will be used to apply for aid in subsequent years. Students are advised to have all personal information handy, such as Social Security numbers, parental SSNs and tax information, driver’s license numbers, colleges you might be applying to, and other specifics.
The FAFSA website has answers to many questions that might arise. A virtual assistant is available online to answer specific questions. This Q&A help page includes in-depth information about how to fill out the form successfully.
This YouTube video also gives an overview of the FAFSA process and explains how to fill out the FAFSA form.
Students and families also can call the FAFSA hotline, 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243), with other questions.
At Cluster Tutoring, Erin Agboola, program coordinator of student services, will be available for high school seniors who need help with FAFSA forms and the college application process. She will be checking in with all Cluster seniors early in the school year.