•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 2017 for the 2018-19 school year, will use their parents’ 2016 tax information.
oTax 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) which pops up on the screen 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)