Filling Out the FAFSA

Step 1: Creating Your FSA ID

As a student, this is your first step to filling out the FAFSA, you will need to create a FSA ID which you will year every year you apply for aid while in college.


Step 2: Parent's FSA ID

Only one parent will need to sign the FAFSA. If the parent has received Federal financial aid in the past or if he/she has completed the FAFSA before for a sibling, he/she would not need to create a new FSA ID. If the parent is new to filling out the FAFSA, then he/she will need to create a FSA ID.

Step 3: Gather Documents

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number
  • Federal tax information or tax returns (2018)
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Cash, savings, and checking account balances
  • Investments other than the home in which you live

Items to note before beginning the application:


Use the correct website

I am the student

Sign in correctly

Meet Deadlines

Meeting school and state deadlines can make a difference in the amount of aid a student receives.

Federal Student Aid provides FAFSA Worksheets each year before October 1st. You may print one of the file below to use an aid for completing the online application.


2020-21 FAFSA Worksheet

English Version


2020-21 FAFSA Worksheet

Spanish Version

FAFSA4caster can estimate your financial aid award.






Step 4: Completing the Application

  • Available on October 1st
  • Filling out the application typically takes around 30 minutes
  • Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) can help speed up the process.
  • There are 3 ways to submit the application
  • An App is also available for both iOS and Android devices

Available beginning October 1st

Ways to Submit the Application

IRS Data Retrieval Tool


Use the App


Step 5: Waiting for the SAR

SAR is an acronym students hear many times it stand for Student Aid Report. Another term is EFC which stands for Expected Family Contribution. Once you receive you SAR, it is your response ability to make any corrections needed.

SAP: Maintaining Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) must be maintained by the student to continue to receive Federal student aid.

Additional Resources:


Dependent or Independent Status Video


Dependent or Independent Worksheet


Information for Undocumented students


Information for Homeless Students


Directions of creating an FSA id


FAFSA Overview

Who is my parent? graphic


Myths about Financial Aid