1. Gather the Necessary Documents:
Before filling out the FAFSA, seniors should have all of the necessary documents on hand. This includes proof of income and tax returns for both student and parent/guardian, if applicable; bank statements; driver’s license; social security number; Alien Registration Number (if not a US citizen); and any additional information that may be required for special circumstances.
2. Review Eligibility Requirements:
The student must meet certain qualifications to receive federal aid. These include being a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, having a valid social security number, being enrolled in an eligible program, and having a high school diploma or GED.
3. Determine the FAFSA Deadline:
It’s important to know when the FAFSA is due to ensure that it’s submitted on time. Most institutions have their deadlines, and these should always be checked before submitting the application.
4. Create an FSA ID:
Seniors must create an FSA ID to complete their FAFSA application. This is used for logging into and signing the form, as well as verifying identity when making changes or corrections to the form.
5. Complete the Application:
Once all of the required documents and information have been gathered and the eligibility requirements have been met, the student is ready to complete the FAFSA. It’s important to answer all questions accurately and completely to maximize financial aid opportunities.
6. Submit the Application:
Once completed, the FAFSA must be submitted for processing. The student should receive an email confirming submission and should keep the confirmation email for their records.
7. Monitor the Status:
After submission, the student should monitor their FAFSA status to stay up-to-date with any changes or corrections that need to be made. This will also help ensure timely processing so that the student can receive aid as quickly as possible.
8. Complete Verification:
If selected for verification, the student must provide any additional documentation or information requested by the school to have their FAFSA application processed.
9. Follow Up on Awards:
Once an award letter is received, it’s important to review it carefully and follow up with the financial aid office if there are any questions or discrepancies.
10. Submit any Updates:
If there are any changes to the student’s financial or educational status, it’s important to update the FAFSA so that the school receives accurate information.