So What’s This Talk about the FAFSA Form
Briefly, the FAFSA form is a U.S. Department of Education form that the student (and parents of dependent students) must file in order to qualify for federal student aid. It is used by colleges to determine your financial aid eligibility for all federal student loans, grants and many non-federal college scholarships.
You can submit the FAFSA form anytime after January 01 for the year you plan to attend school. For 2009, your FAFSA form submission will cover aid requirements for the 2009-10 academic year (July 2009-June 2010). You should submit your FAFSA form as soon as possible. Colleges have submission deadlines including many state aid agencies.
You must have the following documents in order to file your FAFSA form properly. Don’t underestimate the importance of these documents when filing your FAFSA form. Leaving questions unanswered will delay your financial aid processing:
- social security number and driver license
- alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- 2008 completed tax returns
- W-2 and all 1099 forms
- records of untaxed income, such as Social Security benefits, AFDC or ADC, child support, welfare, pensions, military subsistence allowances, and veterans benefits
- current bank and mortgage statements
- medical and dental expenses during the past year that was not covered by medical insurance
- business and/or farm records
- current investment records for stock, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, and money market accounts
About the tax return: you will need your tax return filed or about to be filed prior to completing the FAFSA form. You can file your FAFSA form and estimate your return; but you will need to come back and update the information if your filed return is different.
Note that the Federal Government will check your FAFSA form with your tax returns. Make sure the information you submit on your FAFSA form matches your filed tax return.
Who Must File the FAFSA Form
- Every student who is requesting college financial aid.
- Parents of “dependent students”.
- “Independent students” will file on their own behalf and their spouse, if married. Parents of “independent students” do not need to file.
- Use this dependency status worksheet to determine whether you are a “dependent” or “independent” student.
Filing Demonstration (on Thursday)
We will review the paper application for the FAFSA form this Thursday. We will use the paper application in this exercise as your worksheet. You can then use the worksheet once you are ready to file your FAFSA form electronically: download the paper FAFSA form file
The application segregates the form using a color for parents: the section colored in purple is for the parent.
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