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Need help filling out a FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form many students looking to go to college should fill out. College does not have to be paid out of pocket. The FAFSA form takes your household financial information and sees if it can help you. Many people get qualified for Federal grants, money that does not have to be paid back, and student loans, money that does need to be paid back. The FAFSA also sees if you are eligible for parent loans and work-study programs. It gives your information to colleges so that some states and institutions may also give you grants.

Filling out a FAFSA can be done online, and it is very easy to do. It is not intimidating; however, it can help your financial future out very much. The online format helps you create an account with a PIN number so that no one can access your personal information. Only a few forms are needed to make sure you fill out your FAFSA completely and correctly. The FAFSA application opens up January 1st, but many people have to wait until they receive their W2s or tax forms. The sooner you fill out your FAFSA, the better chance you have of receiving government grants.

How to fill out a FAFSA

It is important to have your social security information, driver’s license or alien registration number to fill out the personal information section of the FAFSA. You are then asked for your marital status, state of legal residence and gender. If you are a male, you will be asked if you have registered with selective service. You are also asked if you have ever had any drug convictions. This can affect your eligibility if you say 'yes.' You are then asked about your high school information and parent's highest education levels. Students studying for their first Bachelors degree are likely to get government aid. You are then asked if you are interested in the work-study program. This is a great program to say 'yes' to if you are looking to earn some extra cash while working at your college.

The most important information when filling out a FAFSA is to have your parent's or your tax information in front of you. This will determine your expected family contribution (EFC). The questions on the form ask for adjusted gross income and other important lines from your tax form, but don't worry because there are helpful hints and tips on the side of the online application that will tell you on which line of which form they are asking for. The FAFSA online is very helpful when it comes to how to fill out a FAFSA application.

It is important to fill out this application for financial aid as soon as possible because the government has only so much money to give. Add your preferred colleges at the end of the application so that they will have all your information and financial aid ready when you decide to enroll.