Monday, January 6, 2014

FAFSA - It's fun to say!

I miss these desks. :( 

Read this if: 

1) You are a college student and you don’t know what the FAFSA is. 
2) You know what the FAFSA is but you don’t know how to fill it out. 


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is just that - a free application that you fill out to get federal financial aid. It’s definitely possible that if your parents make over a certain income that you won’t qualify, but for some people it is worthwhile to fill it out. 

How do I apply?

You go to their website: There will be a giant button that says “Start A New FAFSA,” and it’s pretty straight-forward from there. There are also lots of little hints/tips along the way to help you fill things out. 

When should I apply by?

Most colleges have their own deadlines, so that’s the first that I would check. Certain need-based scholarships also have their own deadlines for when you should fill out the FAFSA - for example, the state of Maryland has a Delegate Scholarship, for which you have to fill out the FAFSA by March 1 every year. It’s hard to keep track of every scholarship out there, so I just aim for ASAP. 

What do I need to apply?

The FAFSA for each year ultimately requires your most current tax return - for example, if you are filling out the FAFSA for your 2014-2015 school year, then you need tax returns for 2013. It’s okay to use the 2012 tax return and then update the information with the 2013 one once it’s done. 

Bottom Line

I always recommend applying (unless you know your income is too high). I also recommend checking the little box that asks you if you want to be considered for Federal Work Study (I wrote about it here). 

As always, contact me with questions or suggestions! You can either comment directly on the post or send me an email to 

Photo Credit: photopin cc


  1. Test reply

  2. Oh dang, good thing you reminded me! Thanks!
    It's quite aggravating how the tax returns required in order to accurately fill it out don't come in until close to the deadline. I guess I'll go ahead and include projected figures from 2012.

  3. You're welcome! :D