FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Every student that attends a college or university in the United States should submit one of these applications as soon as possible after January 1 st of each year. You can complete your application online and if you already attend college, you may only have to complete a renewal form. The benefit of applying online is that you have less paperwork and all the tips for helping you to file the application online are built into the system.
For completing the FAFSA online, you will find a list of documents that you need. It might be beneficial to you to download the forms first and fill them out manually before you fill out the online form. This gives you the advantage of double-checking everything before you submit it electronically. There is also a pre-application worksheet to help you with the process and the questions are in the same order as they are on the application.
If you want to file a renewal application, you must apply for a PIN. This lets you retrieve your personal information from previous applications in the various education systems of the US. Each college in the US also has a specific code and you can search through the database to find the code for the schools to which you have applied and enter it in the appropriate space on the application.
The FAFSA is available in both English and Spanish, so you can complete the application process in your native language. There is a section called Completing the FAFSA, where you can find out the explanations behind many of the questions that ask about your family’s income and assets. This section also tells you what documentation you need to submit to get extra consideration for unusual circumstances. For example, if your family has unusual medical expenses or if your parents are divorced and one of the parents is not contributing to your education, this is the place where you can supply the necessary information in order to get the funding that you need.
Once the office receives your application, electronically or through the mail, it will send you a post card confirming that it has received your application. You can expect to receive information regarding how much money you qualify for in about 4 to 6 weeks.