Why and How to File

The FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – is the first step in getting money for college. It is required for federal student aid and some state, college, and private monies.

More than $3 billion in money for college is left on the table each year simply because students do not complete this required form.

You must complete the FAFSA at fafsa.gov after October 1 of your senior year. The online application process contains built-in edits to help you prevent costly mistakes. Make sure you meet state grant deadlines and your prospective colleges’ priority deadlines. The earlier you file the more time you will have to determine the best college fit for you that you can afford.

Here is a list of documents you need to gather before filing to enroll in the 2018-19 school year:

  • Parent(s) and student’s legal names
  • Parent(s) and student’s Social Security numbers
  • Parent’s driver’s license numbers
  • Email address for student and parent
  • Student’s ACT ID number (log into ACT account and find ID number under “Manage My Profile”)
  • Info for parents with whom the student lives: marriage date, divorce date, or separation date
  • If the student is in a legal guardianship, bring court papers for the guardianship
  • W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2016 (student and parents)
  • 2016 Federal Income Tax Return (the 1040 form for student and parents) – if parents or parent and step-parent file separately, bring copies of both tax returns
  • Value of bank accounts and investments

Get2College offers free one-on-one hands-on confidential assistance completing the FAFSA. Check out the best way to get an appointment.