Looking for a detailed guide on FAFSA Login application then you are at right article. Are you a student and looking for financial aid? Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your way to go. But how can you avail these benefits?
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It’s easy. First you need to fill the FAFSA form. This will help you to secure the financial help you need to pay for your college. In this article, we are going to see what are the steps that you must follow to complete your FAFSA form application on time. Let’s get started.
What is an FSA ID?
An FSA ID is a secure login for the U.S. Department of Education’s website, studentaid.gov. It acts like your digital signature for you in order to:
- Access and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically
- View and manage your federal student loan information.
- Update your contact information and preferences.
1. Create an FSA ID
– If you are a Student: An FAS ID consists of your account username and password. If you want to sign the FAFSA form, you would need an FSA ID. But, if you don’t have an FSA ID. The ID creation takes less than 10 minutes.
– If you are a Parent: If your child is a dependent student then as a parent you need to create your own FSA ID to sign your child’s FAFSA form online. Once you finish creating the id, you would be able to use it instantly.
It has been seen that when parents and students end up mixing their FSA IDs, it is bound to create errors. To tell you, this is one of the most common FAFSA errors. The universities can easily dry up the financial aid they have. So, if you want to be quick in receiving the deserved financial help that both parents and students must create their unique FSA IDs. Please make sure to not share these IDs with each other.
2. Start the FAFSA form at fafsa.gov
Once the FAFSA form is made available, try to complete it quickly. Like I mentioned in the first step some schools and institutions are prone to use the funds earlier than expected or might not have surplus funds so don’t wait till the end of the time to start your application process.
- If you are the student: Click on “I am a student and want to access the FAFSA form.” Once you have clicked, a new page will open. Log in using your FSA ID.
- If you are the parent: Click on “I am a parent filling out a FAFSA form for a student.” Once you have selected the category, enter your child’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
If you are going to attend college between 1st July, 2023 and 30, June 2024, please select the 2023-2024 FAFSA form. Selecting the right form to fill is extremely important.
If this is not your first time on the site and you are a returning applicant, choose the option “renewal” FAFSA form. This is going to save you tons of time and energy, as it will automatically lay out your previous year details into your new application. Remember, that filling out a FAFSA application is not a one time thing. You need to do it every year as long as you hold the eligibility.
Generate a save key
As we mentioned earlier, you should refrain from sharing your FSA IDs with one another. But, this does not hold true for your save key.
Why is it so?
The answer is simple. A save key is just a temporary password allowing you and your parents to pass the FAFSA form back and forth. This comes as a boon for those who live far away from their parents because save key also helps you to save your FAFSA form and return to it when you are available,
3. Fill out the Student Demographics section
You should fill your name, date of birth and more in the student’s demographic section. If you previously finished your FAFSA form or logged in into your account using FSA ID, it is highly likely that most of your information would be stored and as you open the page, it will be filled automatically. This simple yet effective feature is going to save you a lot of time. Also, please make sure to write your name as given on your SSN card.
If you are a parent, please make sure whenever the FAFSA form mentions “you” or “yours’ ‘, it is referring to your child and not you. FAFSA aims to help students with financial needs to fund college. so , keeping that in mind, don’t end up filling your details in the form. If the FAFSA form would require you to fill in your details, it would mention it. No guesswork is involved there. This step is very important for filling the application correctly.
4. List the schools that will receive your FAFSA information
Now, it’s the time to do the most important part i.e. adding your dream school. You should do this even before receiving your acceptance letter from the schools. Do you know that your school choices are hidden from other school authorities? So, this makes a win-win situation for you as adding more schools on your application is going to increase your chances of receiving the fund.
You don’t have to worry about removing the schools from your list. The school is automatically going to cancel your application if you change your mind and decide to join a different school altogether. But, if you have changed your mind completely to attend some new schools then we would recommend removing some old schools and adding the new ones to your list.
You can easily add up to 10 schools on your FAFSA form, making the list bigger than 10 is going to limit your chances of adding new schools. Choose the school that fits your requirements and comfort. Randomly, adding schools to the list is just going to occupy more space on your FAFSA form. This will only inhibit potential new schools that would have been added to your list if considered rightly.
5. Answer the dependency status questions
This section is a tricky one. So you need to carefully answer the question. In this section of the FAFSA form, you need to point out whether you are a dependent or an independent student. Answering specific questions tailored to the outcome will determine whether you fall under the dependent or independent category.
If you are living on your own, paying your bills, filing taxes, supporting your daily needs, you might still be labeled as a dependent student. If you come under this category then the officials would want you to disclose the information about your parents.
If you are someone who falls under the independent student category then you can refrain from giving details about your parents.
Just to inform you, the U.S congress lays down the dependency guidelines, Don’t be mistaken to confuse it with the one that the IRS uses.
6. Fill out the Parent Demographics section
Like we mentioned before, if you are a dependent student then you must provide details about your parents. This step is crucial to complete your application swiftly. Make sure to properly analyze if you are a dependent or an independent student. This one factor is strong enough to change the course of your application process.
7. Provide your financial information
In this step, you and your parents should provide the information about your finances. Now, I know this sounds like a tedious process but don’t worry. You can make the entire process extremely accessible and easy by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This tool is competent enough to finish the work of hours into mins with just the click of a button.
This tool is not only going to save you from adding all the financial data manually with utmost accuracy but it is also going to diminish the amount of paperwork you need to do with the schools. Who does not like a convenient method? And trust me, when I say this the schools are no different!
So, if you are eligible to provide the financial information in this section then simply save yourself from all the troubles and use the IRS data tool to efficiently port your tax related information into your FAFSA form.
8. Sign and submit your FAFSA form.
This is going to be your last nail in the coffin. But, make sure that your parents have also signed the FAFSA form, if you are a dependent student. Now, you must be wondering how to sign your FAFSA form quickly? It’s very easy. Just use your FSA ID,
Please remember that if you used your FSA ID at the beginning then you won’t be asked to provide it here. But your parents would need to sign it using their FSA ID, if you fall under the dependent student category.
Filling out the FAFSA application form is actually easy. It may look lengthy and confusing at first but I am sure with the help of this detailed guide, you would easily fill out your FAFSA form.
Make sure to take your time out while filling the form. Search for a quiet place and review each section carefully. Don’t be hasty while filling out the form. If you are a dependent student then your parents’ involvement is equally important so make sure to engage them as well.