Application Procedures

Filling Out the FAFSA

Getting started

First, you will need to decide whether you will file electronically using FAFSA on the Web or complete a paper FAFSA.

To complete FAFSA on the Web, go to and click on "Before Beginning a FAFSA." You will be guided step-by-step through the preliminary application process by following the time saving suggestions below:

  • Print the Checklist of Documents Needed to Complete the FAFSA (optional).
  • Gather the documents you need.
  • Print and complete the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (optional).
  • Apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN if you do not have one.
  • Parents of dependent students apply for a PIN if they do not have one.
  • Plan how to sign your FAFSA (using a PIN or a signature page).
  • Note eligibility requirements.
  • Note important deadline dates.

If you do not sign your FAFSA on the Web application electronically with a PIN, you, and your parents, if you are a dependent student, will need to print out, sign, and mail in a signature page with the proper signatures within 14 days. Submitting a signature page will increase the time it takes to

  • Process your application, or
  • Transmit your application data to the schools you listed on your application.

To complete a paper FAFSA, first obtain an application from the school you plan to attend, a high school counselor, your local library, or by contacting the FSAIC at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). If you choose to fill out a paper form, use a pen with black ink. Also, dollar amounts should be rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Dates must be reported in numbers in the boxes provided, and numbers below 10 should have a zero in front. (For instance, April would be reported as 04.) Print clearly in capital letters and skip a space between words.

Also, do not leave any questions blank either on the Web version or paper version unless told to do so.

As you complete the FAFSA, you — and your parents, if applicable —should have the following records available to help you answer questions on the application:

  • Your Social Security card
  • Your driver's license
  • Your Permanent Resident Receipt Card (if applicable)
  • Your W-2 forms and other 2006 records of money earned
  • Your 2006 income tax return (see the instructions for Questions 32-42 if you have not yet completed your tax return)
  • Records of 2006 untaxed income including Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, and veterans benefits
  • Records of child support paid
  • Records of taxable earnings from Federal Work-Study or other need-based work programs
  • Records of student grant, scholarship, and fellowship aid, including AmeriCorps awards, that was included in your (or your parents') AGI
  • Current stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Current business and farm records
  • Current bank statements
  • A dependent student (as determined in Questions 48-55) should have all the records listed above from his or her parents except for their driver's licenses.

Be sure to read the information on the Privacy Act and use of your Social Security number.

Submitting your completed application

Double-check your answers to make sure they are complete and accurate. Be sure you have provided the necessary signatures electronically or on paper.

If you are applying electronically, follow the online instructions in Step 6 to print a copy of your applications for your records. Continue to the end of the application, which is Step 9, and submit your application. If you are applying on paper, make copies of your completed application for your files before you mail it. Also keep any worksheets you completed. Your school may ask to see them later. Do not put letters, tax forms, Worksheets A, B, and C, or any extra materials in the envelope provided. They will be destroyed. Make sure that you put any important documents such as tax forms or letters in a secure file so you can refer to them in the future if you need them. When you get ready to mail in your completed application, put the form (pages 7 through 10) in the envelope provided with the paper application. If no envelope is provided, mail the FAFSA to:

Federal Student Aid Programs
P.O. Box 7001
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-0071

The information on this site was produced the US Department of Education and compiled by the site owners. We are not responsible for accuracy or truthfulnees- users should consult with a guidance counselor or visit the Department of Education's website for further information. Site design (c) 2007

More Information on Paying for College:

Student Loan Repayment
All About Student Financial Aid
Choosing a College

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