Funding your college education with FAFSA

It is that time of year again! You guessed it, it’s time to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA — the form you’ll need to qualify for most financial aid opportunities. This year the FAFSA launched on October 1, 2016 which is three months earlier than previous years. If you need financial aid to help pay your college tuition, you should apply as early as possible using your (or your parents) most recent tax returns. Filing out your FAFSA as early as possible is a good idea so you can get a jump on other financial aid applications (state or institutional aid) that may have earlier deadlines.

Make sure you know the deadlines so you can submit early and spend more time hanging out!

Here’s what you’ll need to apply for the FAFSA:

  1. Your FSA ID
    – User and pass credentials needed to log into FAFSA.Gov
    – FSA ID is like a signature so students and parents should both create their own FSA ID
  2. Your Social Security Number
    – You can find this on your SS Card.If you are not a U.S. citizen but meet FAFSA’s eligibility requirements, you will need a special registration number.
  3. Your Driver’s License Number
    – If you do not have a driver’s license then just skip this step.
  4. Your 2015 Tax Info
    – The 2017-18 FAFSA is requires your most recent tax return information
  5. Records of untaxed income and assets
    – This may or may not apply to you, but untaxed income includes: child support received, interest income, and veteran benefits.
    – Untaxed assets include: Savings, checking account balances, investments, stocks and real estates.
  6. List of schools you’re applying to
    –  Make sure you add any school you are considering, does not have to be just one (Even if you have yet to apply or be accepted). You can list up to 10.


To learn more about paying for college, including finding scholarships visit BigFuture or download the CollegeGo app.

  • CollegeGo app guides students through the college application process with games, videos, and search features.
  • Share them with friends! Help out your fellow applicants get ready for college.


College Board has also created Spanish language resources so the whole family can help plan and apply for college.

Almost $184 billion in financial aid is available for students to use and pave their way to higher education, but often times many people might not think they are even eligible. Most full-time college students receive some type of financial aid, some need to be paid back and some are gifts.

Fin Aid Stats:

  • 67% Federal government grants, loans, and other aid
  • 22% College grants/scholarships
  • 6% private and employer grants/scholarships
  • 5% state government grants/scholarships
  • Avg. financial aid award in 2014-15 was $14,210

So make sure to apply and save money for college, you never know how much aid you will get! Complete the FAFSA today and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime…college!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Anna L. says:

    So happy I applied this year, saved me some money!

  2. Evelyn T. says:

    Some great information for neewbies and parents, thanks STEMLatina!

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