Application Steps

Get ready to apply for financial aid by familiarizing yourself all the steps in the application process, finding out how to get help when you need it, and taking note of important dates and deadlines. 

What is the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid. It is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid including grants, loans and work-study. 

When can I apply?

For the 2023-2024 academic year, FAFSA forms must be submitted by June 30, 2024.  Corrections or updates must be submitted by September 14, 2024.

For the 2024-2025 academic year, FAFSA forms must be submitted by June 30, 2025.  Corrections or updates must be submitted by September 14, 2025.

Priority is given to early filers, and some forms of financial aid are on a first come, first serve basis.

The FAFSA must be renewed for every academic year.

Application Steps

Step 1

Getting a FSA ID

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.

Create a FSA ID now

Step 2

Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply

The FAFSA asks for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation.

List of required documents

Step 3

Starting the FAFSA

As you start the FAFSA, keep in mind you will need to determine the following:

  • Colleges and/or career schools
  • Dependency status
  • Parents information
  • Financial Information

Step 4

Signing and Submitting the FAFSA

Before your FAFSA can be processed, you’ll need to sign with your FSA ID and submit it.

Step 5

Taking the Next Steps

You filled out your FAFSA and submitted it. What happens next?

What Happens After You Submit the FAFSA?

Getting Help

If you need help filling out the FAFSA, use these free tools:

  • Read the “Help and Hints” located on the right side of any FAFSA application page.
  • Click “Need Help?” at the bottom of any FAFSA application page
  • Contact the financial aid office at the college or career school you plan to attend.

Contact Your School's Financial Aid Office

Important Deadlines

School Student Financial Aid Deadlines

Schools have their own deadlines and applications for awarding student aid. Check with the school's financial aid office for information.