Do you need help filling out the FAFSA? Join us in the DLZ at the high school on the following nights to work one-on-one with our counselors to help you filling out the FAFSA.
January 12th: 5-7pm
January 20th: 3-5pm
Make sure you’re on the right website: www.fafsa.gov. There are a lot of copycat sites that will charge a fee. FAFSA is free to file.
Select the right school year for your application. If you’re graduating in 2022, you should complete the 2022-2023 application (it refers to the year the student will be in college or career school).
Students and parents must both have an FSA ID in order to electronically begin and sign the application. Students and parents must also each have an accessible, working email address for them to send verification. If you have a FAFSA PIN from a previous year filing FAFSA, you must still create an FSA ID this year.
Where applicable, enter “0” for financial information instead of leaving a box blank.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool can import your tax return information directly from the IRS. It prevents errors and avoids a request for a tax transcript. If that’s not available for you to use, manually enter parental tax return information and pay close attention to the directions.
High school seniors: make sure to select “Never attended college/1st year” for grade level, even if you are in dual-enrollment (it’s still considered high school for FAFSA purposes).
Select that you have received a high school diploma, if it is expected by the end of the school year.
Use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons on the webpage, not the back and forward arrows on your web browser. Back and forward arrows will log out the user and you could lose information entered on previous web pages.
Keep an eye out for color-coded sections to indicate which questions are for parents and which are for students to answer.
When selecting the type of housing planned for each school you’re listing, choose either “On Campus” or “Off Campus.” If you select “With Parents,” you may not get as much financial aid offered. If that is your decided housing arrangement, select “Off Campus.”
For male students, ages 18-25, you must be registered with Selective Service to receive financial aid. If the male has not yet registered, or are unsure, check “Yes, Register Me.”
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In order to apply for financial aid, which includes grants, work-study and loans, every high school senior planning to attend college or career school must complete and submit the FAFSA.
Who should apply?
Any high school senior who is planning or considering college or career school should apply. By completing the FAFSA, students will automatically be considered for financial aid.
Who is eligible for financial aid?
To qualify for student aid, students must meet basic eligibility requirements:
Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
Have a Social Security number
Be registered with the Selective Service (if you’re a male between the ages of 18-25)
Plan to enroll in an eligible college or career school
Also, high school seniors must show they are qualified to obtain a college or career school education by:
Having a high school diploma, a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a state-recognized equivalent
Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law
What types of financial aid are available?
Grants (i.e. free money) are awarded on the basis of need and do not have to be repaid.
Work-Study enables students to earn money during the school year while also gaining valuable
work experience, typically in part-time, career-related jobs.
Loans consist of money that students borrow to help pay for college and must be repaid (plus interest). The two most common types of loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education include: Direct Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans.
Direct Subsidized Loans are loans available eligible undergraduate students with financial need.
The interest on these loans is covered until six months after students leave school.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans available to undergraduate, graduate and professional
students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need and the interest accrues immediately on these loans. Loan repayment begins six months after students leave school.
What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
For the 2022-2023 school year, students can begin applying for FAFSA beginning Oct. 1, 2021 and use their 2020 IRS income tax returns. Because colleges use the FAFSA to provide other types of aid (state aid, private scholarships, etc.), students should check with the college(s) they are interested in attending, as many have priority deadlines for submitting FAFSA.
What documents are needed to apply for the FAFSA?
When filling out the FAFSA, having access to the following information will be extremely helpful and make the process go smoother:
How much financial aid can students receive?
Every student will be eligible for a different financial aid package, based on many factors. After students submit their FAFSA, each school they list in their application will determine a financial aid package and send an award letter with the types of aid and amounts they are offering. It depends on several factors, including:
• • • •
Cost of attendance for the school
Expected Family Contribution (based on the information entered in the FAFSA) Year in school
Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, etc.)
Your name doesn’t match your Social Security card exactly. If a parent’s or student’s name has a suffix, such as Jr. or III, include a space between the last name and the suffix.
Do not enter the same amount for your adjusted gross income and income tax paid. On your return, the AGI is on the first page of the 1040 (line 11). Income tax paid is on the second page of the 1040 (line 25d) “total tax.” Yes, it can sometimes be “0.”
Forget to submit FAFSA. Once you’ve agreed to the terms and electronically signed your FAFSA, it is crucial to click “Submit” and receive a confirmation message.
Not entering the exact same name, address and filing status that is on the income tax forms (1040). If you don’t, the online form won’t allow use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer info. This means if your tax return has “Street” written out; do not use the “St.” abbreviation. Also, do not type over or correct any info that is electronically transferred.