FAFSA Hints: A Guide To Securing Your Financial Aid

by Angela Marie Pringle
(Manning, South Carolina)

FAFSA Tips: A Guide To Securing Your Financial Aid


The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is probably the most important piece of information for any college student; whether they are a first time college student or a continuing student. The FAFSA is also, in a lot of cases, a determining factor of whether or not a student will be able to attend college.


On the FAFSA website.html, there is something called a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. This worksheet lists all of the documents that you need to file your FAFSA. By using this list, it allows you to check off the items that you need to file as you obtain them. It is a big help in staying organized, and it also saves you time in this process.

There are two ways to fill out your FAFSA. You can file your FAFSA Application electronically on the web; or, if you don’t have access to a computer, you can file using a FAFSA paper form . But the best way to file is to file electronically, because your information will be processed more quickly.

When completing your FAFSA, it is important that you have all necessary documents at hand before you sit down. If you are an independent student , you will need the following items: your social security card, driver’s license, W-2 form or tax return from the previous year, and information on any other benefits that you may receive, such as child support, veteran’s benefits, or workman’s compensation. If you are married, you will also need the W-2 form or tax return from the previous year of your spouse, as well.

If you are a dependent student, you will need to use the information of parent(s). It is the same information that is used by the dependent student . The only difference is, the applying student will be using two sets of information. In addition to providing the personal information of their filing parent or guardian, they will need to provide their social security number, driver’s license number (if they have one), and any other applicable information.

When filling out your FAFSA, make sure that you take your time and enter all of your information correctly. Incorrect information could lead to a delay in the processing of your application. Also, make sure that you enter the correct school code for the school(s) that you want your information to be sent to. And most importantly, make sure that you are aware of the FAFSA filing deadline . If you miss the deadline, you could potentially be missing out on receiving available money, which could delay your education.

Read more FAFSA Hints from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.


Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Angela for sharing some good FAFSA tips for securing financial aid. All students should read and understand the criteria for independent vs. dependent student, as it is NOT the same as independent or dependent for income tax filing. Most students are considered dependent if they are under age 24 as of January 1, unless they are married, have dependents, or are in the military. For the complete list of questions to see if you are a dependent or independent student for FAFSA purposes, see Federal Student Financial Aid.

Check out our more FAFSA tips on securing financial aid at the links below. Good luck.



FAFSA Tips on Securing Financial Aid

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline

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FAFSA and You

by Samson R. Jinks
(Carmel, IN, United States of America)

FAFSA and You: Some Pointers - When completing the FAFSA, it's important to be entirely honest in everything asked of you. This form is going to have an impact on many scholarships you choose to apply to, and having accurate, double checked information on it will only help.

Make sure you have as much of the information (parent’s financial information, school transcripts, etc.) that will be required during filling out on hand; this will simplify the process, and make sure you aren’t in danger of entering the wrong data. And remember, if your parents are divorced to give the information of the parent that you were with most during the last year. If you live with both parents equally, find out which one contributed to you the most.

Having a parent on hand, in this situation, will speed up the process considerably, as the FAFSA, in addition to financial information will ask for the Social Security Number and other various data from your parent. They can also provide you with any documents that you may not have, such as your own Social Security Number, and in the best case scenario, they will enter their financial data themselves.

Make note that, while the FAFSA asks for your tax information, it’s best to estimate your taxes and submit it as early as possible, rather than waiting to file your taxes and risk missing the deadline. And there is the most important thing to remember with the FAFSA: you are on a deadline. During the two and a half months leading up to initiation and deadline, you need to enter it.

Most of all, the FAFSA is an entirely necessary form that you need to fill out. It will prevent delays in the future when applying for scholarships and other types of financial aid. Completing the FAFSA is entirely for your own benefit.


Read more tips on FAFSA Help from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Sampson for sharing some pointers about FAFSA. I smiled when I read the part about your parent having information like your social security number – that is so true! Many college applicants are only 17, 18 or 19 years old and don’t know their social security number or have never seen a tax return. Your parents are your best friends during this time so enlist their cooperation. Good luck to you.

More FAFSA Help for Financial Aid

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline | FAFSA Correction

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To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.

Preparation Before Submission

by Leon
(Detroit, MI.)

FAFSA Tips - When I was pressed with completing my FAFSA I was very much in peril like everyone else I knew. I had no idea of what to expect, what to do, and how to do it. I was very naive when it came to the benefits of filing the application in a timely manner.

The first thing I received was a crash course on completing it. The first tip I would stress to anyone is to obtain a paper copy of the FAFSA form and read the entire form. That is one fundamental aspect that we forget to do is read the entire form before we get to filling it out.

Second sit down with your parents and show them exactly what you need from them as it pertains to their filed tax returns. Ask them to file early as you can because the sooner you submit the FAFSA the better. That way there is no estimating on the facts and figures of projected taxes paid.

Before March 1st of every year is the best time to submit the form. Knowing that insures that you have a pretty good chance of receiving the most federal funding that you possibly can. Now having a paper copy actually helps you in more ways then one. Fill in the blanks where your parent’s financial information goes and your financial information goes. This saves all of the hassle of locating that information when you most critically need it, especially due to the fact that most people are submitting the form online.

If you follow this ideology of preparation before completion then you will always be ahead of the game.

Read more tips on FAFSA Tips from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Leon for sharing your FAFSA Tips. I agree that preparation before submission is key. Good luck to you.

More Tips on Applying for FASFA

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline | FAFSA Correction

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.

Getting FAFSA done with patience and attention

by Maria Paucarcaja
(Memphis, TN, United States)

Starting college is exciting and a little complicated for a new or current college student. During the high school years many students are used to their parents doing all of the school paper work and still expect them to do it in college. That is not such a smart idea because it is important for the student to be informed about all the information that is going to be put in the college registration and the FAFSA application. It is preferable for both the parent and the student to do the paper work together. Especially with the FAFSA application because it is an application that requires information about the parent and the student and it has to be applied every year, if needed.

When you are ready to start the FAFSA application it is important to have all the tax reports ready. The tax reports are the most important information to fill in a FAFSA registration. Also have an agenda or daily planner ready to write in, or something that you know where it’s going to be at, at all times. That is going to be needed for any information that the student is required to remember. For example the user name and password that will be needed and the FAFSA PIN that is going to be required.

Once you start reading the questions it is very important to fill in the answers with patience and attention. Still you have the option to make any FAFSA corrections after submitting the application, but it is better getting it done correctly the first time to make the process faster.

After you are done with the FAFSA application it is important to stay updated with the process of it. There might be a mistake that the college might have done and you want to make sure that it does not happen and that everything is going smoothly in the processing of your FAFSA. It will be worth the time, patience, and responsibility that you put in the application because it will help you have a great start of that college year.

Read more FAFSA hints from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Maria for sharing your FAFSA hints. Best of luck to you.


More FAFSA Hints

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA PIN | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.

Just Another FASFA!

by Crystal Ramirez
(Hobbs, NM, USA)

The most important things about filling out the FASFA - My experience with FAFSA was quite confusing the first time I filled it out. I was not sure what information was needed or what must be provided. Before attempting the process I spoke to a counselor at the university I was interested in and I was provided with the FASFA website. At this point I had received the help I was going to get and I was on my own.

It took about one to two hours to fill out the FASFA because I had to search for my annual taxes, create an account and apply for a FAFSA Application PIN Number . So after this experience I had to come up with a plan so it was not so lengthy.

Well to make this short and sweet, I wrote down the process, my account information and the PIN I would be using each year. The most important things about filling out the FASFA are the deadlines and completing your annual taxes. I realized that completing it right after taxes was the best option to ensure I received funding for that academic year. So my advice to anyone applying for a FASFA should be to first make sure their annual taxes have been filed.

Once you have completed this process have them available and have all the account information in a safe and locatable place. Next, you should log on to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ website and use the guide command to fill out the FASFA application. If you come to a box that you are not sure about you can click on it and out to the right side there is an information log that specifies what should go in the box.

If you are unsure about filling out the FASFA application there is also a new feature that lets you transfer your information from the IRS website. One should utilize this source so there are no discrepancies on the FASFA application. This does speed up the process and I realized it only took fifteen to twenty minutes to complete. What a life saver!

~Crystal

Read more Important things about filling out the FASFA from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Crystal for sharing the most important things about filling out the FASFA. It’s very confusing to many students and parents the first time. If you can file your taxes early the IRS file transfer tool does make it easy. Check out our tips on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Also, be sure to file early and don’t miss the FAFSA Deadlines for federal, state and college financial aid. Good luck to you.

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More Important Things about Filling out the FASFA

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline | FAFSA Correction

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.


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