Affording College

FAFSA Process Overview

A visual overview of the FAFSA process created by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid is available. 

Abbreviated guide for students filling out the FAFSA

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The most important word is FREE!  You should never pay to fill out the FAFSA.

When should I fill out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st of the year before you are applying (e.g., If you are applying for the 2018-2019 school year, the FAFSA becomes available on October 1, 2017.)

You need to fill out the FAFSA every year you are in school.

What information do I need to fill out the FAFSA? What is the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet?

Below is a link to the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet you can fill out prior to completing FAFSA on the Web. The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet is not the financial aid application, nor is it part of the application. It is merely a guide to help you complete FAFSA on the Web; the Worksheet should not be submitted to Federal Student Aid. This worksheet will help you organize your information (including parental financial information) that is needed for FAFSA on the Web.  Note: Parent information is only required if you are dependent. 

How do I know if I’m a dependent student?

The US Department of Education has a number of resources to help you determine if you are an independent or dependent student and if you need to include parent financial information on your FAFSA.