After much anticipation, the 2024-25 FAFSA is now open! For students who will be attending college this fall, you’ll want to get the FAFSA filed as soon as you can. Here’s a quick Q&A about the FAFSA:
Please note: Federal Student Aid is expecting some delays with the new FAFSA. If you receive errors when completing your application, try again later in the day.
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s a FREE government form that streamlines the college financial aid process. Complete the form at StudentAid.gov. The FAFSA will ask questions about a family’s household and financial situation to calculate your Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is used by the colleges you list on the application to determine what types of federal, state, and college-based aid they can offer you.
When should I complete the FAFSA?
Some types of aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and some scholarships require the FAFSA results. You don’t want to miss any important deadlines or opportunities, so shoot for January or early February, but before the colleges’ priority filing date.
What information is needed to file the FAFSA?
The FAFSA will ask for the 2022 federal taxes and corresponding schedules. However, the assets and investments you list on the FAFSA will be the current value as of the day you’re filling out the FAFSA. Review our FAFSA Checklist for a complete list of required information.
What’s the FSA ID all about?
The FSA ID is a username and password that serves as your electronic signature for the FAFSA. Both you and a parent will create separate FSA IDs by going to studentaid.gov and clicking on Create account. The FSA IDs are used to pull over tax information from the IRS, to sign & submit the FAFSA, and to apply for student loans and/or parent PLUS loans, if needed. It will take at least 3 days to verify your information, so you’ll need to create them well before starting your FAFSA. Write them down and keep them in a safe place because you will use them every year you apply for financial aid.
How often do I complete the FAFSA?
You need to complete the FAFSA each fall to apply for Federal Student Aid for the following school year.
Anything else I should know?
Because the 2024-25 FAFSA has been completely revamped, the opening date was pushed back from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. If you’ll be filing a FAFSA for the 25/26 academic year, the opening date should go back to the Oct. 1st opening date as it’s been in the past.
Where can I go for help?
If the FAFSA process seems overwhelming, you can schedule an appointment to get help completing the FAFSA. Remember, our services are completely FREE!
By Jacquie Butler