Federal Aid - FAFSA

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FAFSA is the starting point for Federal Aid administered as grants (Pell) and loans.

        FAFSA can be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It must be resubmitted every year and requires parent income until the student is 24, except in cases where the student is considered to be independent.

       FAFSA opens on October 1 of senior year, and closes on March 2nd for CSU and UC campuses. Private schools will have different deadlines – make sure you aware of those deadlines!

  • Earlier submission means earlier notification of grant money, not necessarily more money!  As long as you apply within the open window, funding availability should remain the same for FAFSA.

        To avoid the need for updating information, the FAFSA uses the prior, prior year tax information. For example, a student applying in the fall of 2019 for the 2019-20 school year, will use their parents’ 2018 tax information.

  o   Tax information can be downloaded from the IRS via the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Taking advantage of the DRT prevents the future request for an IRS transcript from the college financial aid office.

        Student and one parent need an FSA ID in order to sign and submit the FAFSA. The FSA ID will be needed each year – so be sure to save the information. Create your FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov

        Once the FAFSA is submitted, it immediately generates a Student Aid Report (SAR) that is emailed to you right after submission. The SAR will give details about the potential Pell Grant amount, as well as the  amount of the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

        For questions and help go to studentaid.ed.gov