The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.
Every year that you apply for federal student aid, you must complete a FAFSA. Renewing applicants can complete a Renewal FAFSA, which includes information from your previous FAFSA form.
How to Get a FAFSA Application
Go to the Department of Education web site for the online form along with comprehensive instructions for completing the FAFSA. Be sure to use the government web site and avoid any .com sites which may require you to pay to submit your FAFSA.
We recommend that you complete your FAFSA online. The online FAFSA application has a faster processing time, and it provides online assistance while you are working on the form, including worksheets that calculate and enter the results directly onto the FAFSA for you.
However, if you do not want to file your FAFSA online, you do have 2 alternate choices for obtaining your paper FAFSA:
- Download a PDF copy
- Request to have a paper copy mailed to you - call Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.433.3243
If you fill out a paper FAFSA, you will return the completed and signed document by mail. Return mailing address where you will send the FAFSA is in the FAFSA form itself.
Tips to Complete Your FAFSA
Decide how you will sign your online FAFSA
If you choose to complete the FAFSA online, you have 2 methods for signing the form:
Sign electronically, with a PIN (recommended)
Go to the Federal Student Aid PIN website to get a PIN before you begin completing the FAFSA. This PIN will be your signature on the electronic form.
You may choose to receive your PIN by e-mail, USPS mail or instantly online. When you receive the PIN number, record it for use later when you need to electronically sign your FAFSA.
You may use the same PIN from one year to the next on your FAFSA.
Print out the FAFSA signature page and mail in only that page
If you do not want to get a PIN, you may print out a signature page and return the signed page by mail at the address provided on the FAFSA. This method is slower because your FAFSA will not be processed to determine your financial need until the signature is received.
Gather Needed Documents in Advance
The process of completing the FAFSA will go more smoothly if you collect all the necessary documents before you begin. See this checklist of needed documents to help you prepare. Use your actual tax documents to complete the form.
The FAFSA web site has several worksheets online which can help you to determine how to answer certain questions. The "FAFSA on the Web" worksheet allows you to record your answers before you begin the online form.
Fielding Federal School Code - G20961
This code must be on your FAFSA in order for Fielding to receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) and begin your financial aid process.
- Your official name on the FAFSA is the name that appears on your social security card.
- Answer all questions and use zeroes (0) when appropriate rather than leaving the question blank.
- You can save an unsubmitted FAFSA application online and return to it later.
- Your saved application will be automatically deleted after 45 days or after the federal application/correction deadline date has passed.
- You will receive confirmation of your completed FAFSA
After you click on the final Submit Button in the online FAFSA, you will receive a confirmation notification from the Department of Education. If you fill out a paper FAFSA, you may request a confirmation by sending in the confirmation postcard that comes with the application.
Processing of Your FAFSA - Receiving a Student Aid Report
After the Department of Education has processed your FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail or paper Student Aid Report (SAR). If you applied online, you will receive an e-mail with your FAFSA results within 4 to 7 days. If you submitted a paper application, your SAR will take 3 or 4 weeks to arrive by mail. At the same time you receive your SAR, a copy of it will be sent electronically to all the schools you've listed on the FAFSA.
Where can I get more help with the FAFSA ?
If you are filing the electronic version of the FAFSA, you may find your questions answered in this FAQ at the official FAFSA website. Also the online application has help available on every page of the application. Click "NEED HELP?" for assistance with a specific question.
The Department of Education Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) can assist online or by calling 1.800.433.3243 by:
- Helping you complete FAFSA on the Web or Corrections on the Web
- Helping you complete the paper FAFSA
- Answering questions about the PIN
- Checking the processing status of your FAFSA
- Mailing duplicate Student Aid Report (SAR)
- Changing your mailing address and e-mail address
- Changing the schools you listed on your application
- Explaining the SAR and how to make corrections
- Checking on whether a school participates in federal student aid programs
- Explaining who is eligible for federal student aid
- Explaining how federal student aid is awarded and paid
- Explaining the verification process
- Sending requested publications