Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that is prepared annually by current and prospective college and vocational-school students in the United States to determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid. The FAFSA is the first step in the financial aid process. The FAFSA is required if you want to participate in federal and state financial aid programs. You use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as grants, loans and work-study. In addition, most states and schools use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid and some private scholarship donors require it as well.

  • The form MUST be filled out in order to get any type of financial aid as a student.
  • Before applying, both the student and the parent/guardian will need to create their own FSA ID at: https://fsaid.ed.gov
  • When the FSA IDs have been created, the FAFSA can be completed at: fafsa.gov
  • If a student is a dependent, both student and parent(s)/guardian(s) will have to fill out their demographic/financial information on the form before it can be signed and submitted.
  • The results of the FAFSA are sent to the student’s school(s) of choice. The school(s) will contact you as the summer/fall term approaches to notify you of further actions to take.
  • Students must complete the FAFSA every year. The FAFSA opens every year on October 1.
  • If you need financial aid for the 2018-19 school year, you can submit the form until June 30, 2019. But remember, the sooner the FAFSA is completed, the sooner a student can see what type of funding they qualify for. Some colleges/vocational schools have their own deadlines for when the FAFSA needs to be submitted by, so make sure to research and follow the deadlines.
  • You can complete the FAFSA on your own or contact Ms. Bazunu @ bazunu@polk-fl.net to get assistance with it.

What Do I Need to Complete the FAFSA?

To complete the FAFSA, you will need to gather the items below. If you are a dependent student, you will also need most of the items below from your parent(s)/guardian(s).

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval )
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign