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Filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a necessary step if you wish to apply for a grant to help you continue your college education. Many organizations that offer grants for deserving students often utilize the FAFSA form as their own application as it is authentic and details all your financial information.
If you are someone who does not understand the process of applying for the FAFSA, there is no need to worry as we are here to help you out with the application process step by step.
Where to Find the FAFSA Form?
Before you begin anything, you must know where exactly it is that you will be obtaining your application form. To obtain the FAFSA application you must go to fafsa.gov, where you will find a free copy of the application you must submit.
In the center of the homepage, you will see an option that reads ‘Start A New FAFSA’. By clicking on this option, you will be taken to a login page where, after either entering your FSA ID or basic information along with you Social Security Number, you will be given access to your copy of the application.
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Resources to Gather Beforehand
The FAFSA will need details about you and your financial condition in order to make sure you are deserving and eligible for a grant. The information they ask you for may require you to use certain documents, which we recommend should be present with you beforehand to make the process quicker:
- Your correct Social Security Number
- In the case you are a dependent student: your parents’ Social Security Numbers
- In the case you are not a U.S. citizen: your Alien Registration Number
- Driver’s license
- Tax information of yourself and immediate family members of the past two years
- IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
- Receipts of income that is not taxed
- Information on account balances, investments, real estate, property, assets and any cash
Filling Out the Application
The first thing to remember is to fill the form of the correct time frame. You are to submit the application for session 2016-17 if the academic session for which you require a grant encompasses that time frame.
You must then fill out all the fields that inquire about your personal information. Make sure the information you enter matches the one on your official documents. Then, you must fill out your financial information. They will generally ask you to show the income tax reports of the previous year, hence you should keep them handy. You can also use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in order to directly copy your tax reports on to the application.
No matter how many more or less schools you have in your sight, you must list at least ten to make sure you do not miss out on any opportunity. These can be any of the prospective colleges you wish to attend. These are the institutes where this information of yours will be sent.
You are also asked whether you are a dependent or an independent student. If your case is of the former, you must enter your parents’ information as well.
Submitting the Application
You may simply click on the submit button after you have filled out the application. Make sure that you sign it in the end with your PIN or FSA ID to ensure quicker processing. You will then be lead to a confirmation page if your application has been submitted successfully. You will also receive a confirmation mail.
Now, your information will be sent to all the schools that you have listed, and their financial aid department will be determining how much aid should be given to you, if any. Also remember, you need to fill out the FAFSA form every year to be considered for further grants.
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