Before You Apply

1. Obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov

The Federal PIN serves as your identification enabling you to do many things over the Internet including:

  • Electronically sign your Free Application for federal Student Aid or FAFSA on the Web
  • Make corrections to your application
  • Check your financial aid history online
  • Access your processed FAFSA data from the CPS, including your SAR
  • Sign documents for Federal Student Loans, if desired
  • Complete a renewal FAFSA
  • Have your parent(s) electronically sign the FAFSA, renewal FAFSA, and correction forms on the Web, if you are dependent.

When requesting a PIN, you need to supply your name, social security number, date of birth, mailing and email address, if applicable. Both the student and one parent (if the student is dependent) need a PIN.

When all information is completed, a confirmation number appears on the screen. The PIN will be generated in real-time, so you can use it immediately.

Important: You will use this same PIN year after year. Store it in a safe location. You may also request to change your PIN to another four-digit code that you will be able to remember easily. 

2. Gather Your Records

Before completing your online FAFSA, gather the following records and information.  You also need records of your parent(s) information if you are a dependent student.

 

It is recommended that you wait two (2) weeks after you submit your taxes to the IRS to complete your FAFSA.  This will allow you to take advantage of the IRS Tax Referral System, transferring your tax information directly into the FAFSA.

  • You (and your spouse’s, if you are married) current year’s Federal Income Tax Form (IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040 Telefile)
  • Your parent’s Federal Income Tax Return (if you are considered dependent)
  • Your current year’s untaxed income records (if applicable) – worker's compensation, disability, etc.
  • Your current year’s bank statements
  • Your current year’s business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records, if applicable
  • Your alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

3. Fill out the FAFSA

You are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA each year, even if you are a returning student that has received financial aid in the past.

  • You may choose to print and complete a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
  • The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet tells you what documents (for example, your tax forms) you'll need to refer to as you fill out the FAFSA, and it shows you the FAFSA questions so you can fill in your answers in preparation for applying at www.fafsa.gov. The Worksheet is an optional tool; you can go straight to the FAFSA Web site to apply if you prefer.

TIP: If you create a “MyFSA” account at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov many sections of the FAFSA will automatically be completed for you, saving time and eliminating mistakes.