Quick Tips For An Easier FAFSA Completion Process

by Megan
(Puyallup, WA, USA)

My first piece of advice is to just breathe and relax. The FAFSA Application seems very intimidating and daunting, but it actually is not too difficult to complete. What is really nice is that much of your information gets saved from year-to-year, so you just need to review it with your paperwork to make sure everything still matches.


Make sure you gather all of the information you will need to include in the FAFSA application ahead of time. Having material like your future/current college’s code or correct name, your completed tax return and your parent’s information as well, and whether you will live on campus or off campus already at hand, will help expedite the completion process, it will keep you organized, and will minimize errors.

Since, the FAFSA application needs to be completed annually, keep the information from the prior year(s), so you can use them as a reference for the new FAFSA you are completing. This was a huge time saver for me. Plus, you can use the prior years’ Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a reference for what your EFC may be for the current year.

Proofread, proofread, proofread! Small input errors in your application can make for huge headaches. Sometimes, when you are completing a document, your brain works faster than your fingers can type, or your finger just touches the wrong key. In any event, a typo occurs and minimizing errors the first time around is really your aim. So make sure to proofread several times before the final submission and things will go much smoother.

Probably the most important advice is this: the early bird catches the worm. The earlier you complete the FAFSA the more likely it will be that you will get grants instead of loans. I always apply the first day or week the application becomes available. Procrastination definitely will not help you in this situation.

Read more 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 Megan for sharing your FAFSA application tips. You’ve offered some good advice that everyone should follow for an easier FAFSA completion process. Good luck to you.

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More FAFSA Application Tips

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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Isn't FAFSA confusing?

by Alexa Fode
(Riverside, CA, USA)

As a senior in high school it is my first time applying for FAFSA . Man was I stressed with no help from my parents, because they had never done it before. These few helpful hints that got me through the process in a day:

1. Apply for your FAFSA Application PIN Number on www.pin.ed.gov first. It will take a few days to go through.
2. Apply for your taxes earlier if possible if you are still with your parents encourage them to apply early.
3. In the case of your parents/you did not apply early use the year before income tax return as reference and W2 forms.
4. Know your basic information such as your social security number and drivers license.
5. As you’re entering the information on your parent’s taxes refer to the income tax sheet from last year
6. Have your records of any untaxed income like welfare and unemployment.
7. If you come to a question where it has a blue link under it, click it and it will provide you step by step answering the question at hand.
8. It is okay if the information about your taxes is not 100% accurate because you can later go on and submit changes when you receive that years income tax return.
9. Don’t leave any answers blank. If you do not have an answer for the question put in zero.
10. Read each question carefully.
11. Remember the application is free. If a website is trying to charge you, IT’S A SCAM.
12. Also keep copies of all forms, to document your application admission
13. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. FAFSA provides numbers that you are able to contact that have helpful representatives that are able to answer your questions.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Alexa for sharing these FAFSA tips. Most students have FAFSA questions so it is helpful to get advice from those who have been through the process.

You also offer a good reminder that the FAFSA is free to apply. There are some fake FAFSA websites that may look like the real website, but aren’t. They will charge you a fee for submitting your FAFSA. We have a link page to the FAFSA Official Website to make it easy to find this free information and FAFSA application.



More FAFSA Questions and Answers

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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The Secret of FAFSA

by Keila Morales
(Mayaguez, Puerto Rico)

The exciting adventure of starting college is very appealing to the average high school student. Thought of your future career and people you will meet are bound to be running through your head. Making out your classes and picking roommates can be very exhilarating. But, lets take a step back and consider one important aspect of college. How are you going to pay?? Fortunately, the government is willing to help you with college payments.

As most students know, FAFSA is a great way to get extra financial help for college. What most people fail to understand is that it's a first come first serve. So it's important to have everything ready so you can fill out the FAFSA and get the grants and scholarships you need. A lot of students wait until the end of the school year to work on this. That's a big mistake. Sure, your Senior year is suppose to be fun and care free. But you won't be having much fun working two jobs and trying to study.

So get your W-2's ready and bother your parents to do their taxes early! The sooner it's completed, the better! I would always have my taxes and FAFSA done before February. As a result, I had a full ride to the college of my choice, without having to take out student loans my freshman year of college.

The time it takes to fill out your FAFSA can also be cut down. Before you decide to sit down and start on this, make sure you have your tax information (if you worked the year before) and your parents tax information. Have a list of schools you are interested in attending. Also, have a sheet of paper where you can write down important information, like your pin number. You will be using the same one every year.

The first time you fill out the FAFSA will take some time since you are unfamiliar with all the questions. If possible, have a parent present to answer questions that you may not know the answer to. The point is to get everything done and over with in one afternoon so you don't have to worry about it.

Also, another helpful hint. When registering for school, it may be helpful to take your income tax information with you. Occasionally they will randomly pick a student to provide their (or the parents) tax information. It will save you a trip to have it on you already.

So, basically, the sooner you get your taxes done, the sooner you can fill out your FAFSA. And the earlier you get your FAFSA done, the better chances you have at getting more help for school. So sacrifice a day out of the week to secure your future.

Read more 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 Keila for your sharing The Secret of FAFSA. Good luck in your scholarship searches for college.

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More FAFSA Secret Advice

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

Submit your essay in our College Essay Contest:

FAFSA Hints | Scholarships and Grants for College | Paying off Student Loans | Scholarship Essay Samples | Other College Financial Aid Advice


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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