What Will I Need to Fill Out the FAFSA?

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By Kristen Kuchar

September 25, 2020

Filing the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is how college students receive grants, scholarships, work-study jobs and federal student loans. There are several items you need to properly fill out the FAFSA. Below is a list of the paperwork needed to complete the FAFSA and other items:

What Paperwork Do I Need for the FAFSA?

The student will need the following information to complete the FAFSA. 

  • A valid Social Security Number. If you are not a U.S. citizen you will need an Alien Registration Number.
  • Driver’s License Number if you have one. This is not required, but can help prevent identity theft on the FAFSA. 
  • Federal income tax returns from the prior-prior year. For example, to fill out the FAFSA for the 2021-2022 academic year, you need tax returns from 2019. You can alternately use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer information from the IRS to your FAFSA.
  • W-2s and 1099s
  • Other records of money earned 
  • Records of untaxed income, if applicable, such as child support 
  • Bank and brokerage account statements (or printouts from the account’s website)
  • Records of other investments 
  • List of schools you are interested in attending, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted

If the student is a dependent student, they will also need this information for their parents. If the student is married, they will also need this information for their spouse. 

The student and parents, if the student is a dependent student, will each need their own FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically. 

Other Things Needed to Fill Out the FAFSA

  • Computer and internet: The FAFSA is available online, so you need a computer and internet access or you can complete a paper copy and mail it in.
  • Time: You’ll need time to devote to completing it. Here’s how long it take to file the FAFSA
  • Focus: You need to focus so you can reduce the chances of making a mistake. Making a mistake on the FAFSA could result in you getting less financial aid.

See also:

A good place to start:

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