Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in accessing the more than $150 billion available in federal student aid. Since the 2013-14 FAFSA launched, there are a few questions we’ve seen popping up more than any others. Let’s go through them.
How can I complete the FAFSA if my parents or I haven’t filed my 2012 taxes yet?
- When the FAFSA asks: “Have you completed a 2012 income tax return?” Select “Will file.”
- Estimate income.
- If your 2012 income is similar to your 2011 income, use your 2011 income tax return to provide estimates for questions about your income.
- If your income is not similar, click Income Estimator for assistance estimating your adjusted gross income, and answer the remaining questions about your income to the best of your ability.
- After you file your 2012 tax return, go to www.fafsa.gov and correct your information.
- Note: Once you complete your 2012 taxes, you may also be eligible to use the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically transfer your tax return information from the IRS into the FAFSA.
When is the FAFSA deadline?
States, schools, and the federal government each have their own FAFSA filing deadlines . It is important that you research all of these deadlines and complete the FAFSA by whichever deadline comes first. That being said, some types of financial aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you complete the FAFSA as soon as possible in order to maximize the amount of financial aid you can receive.
Which FAFSA should I complete?
When you log into www.fafsa.gov, you will be given two different options: “Start a 2013-14 FAFSA” and “Start a 2012-13 FAFSA.” Which should you choose?
- If you’ll be attending college between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 select “Start a 2013-14 FAFSA.”
- If you’ll be attending college between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 select “Start a 2012-13 FAFSA.”
- If you are applying for a summer session, or just don’t know which application to complete, check with the college you are planning to attend.
For more information about FAFSA, visit studentaid.gov/fafsa.