Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year – Every person who is about to attend college should know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the process to apply. October means FAFSA applications are open for 2023-2024. Our video blog will cover frequently asked questions and 4 FAFSA tips.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the official form that all incoming and returning college students fill out for the next academic year. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants and work-study, and may be required by colleges before they distribute their institutional aid to students.

Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year

Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year

In order to determine a family’s financial need, the FAFSA asks a number of questions about a family’s income, the student’s income, assets and other factors such as how many children are in the family. Then comes an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). In July 2023, EFC will be renamed the Student Aid Index (SAI) to clarify its meaning. Based on the information you provide on the FAFSA will determine if you qualify for need-based aid, non-need-based aid, or some combination of the two.

Fall Means Fafsa: The Season For Students And Families To Apply For More Than $150 Billion In Financial Aid

The FAFSA is an application used to determine your eligibility to receive a federal loan. There are three types of financial aid that students may be eligible for. Some of the financial aid is free money, some must be earned through work, and some must be repaid.

The amount of money you receive is dependent on what they determine to be your financial need. The average amount is around $5,000.

To qualify for various forms of federal student aid, you generally need to have some sort of financial need, be a U.S. However, there are more eligibility requirements based on the type of financial aid.

First, you and your student will need to get a federal student ID, FSA ID,  (which you can do online by following the instructions at Once you have an FSA ID, you can use the same one every year.

Mistakes To Avoid When Filling Out Fafsa For Financial Aid

Second, you will need to submit the FAFSA. The fastest and easiest way to submit it is online at The online FAFSA allows your tax data to be imported directly from the IRS, which speeds up the overall process and reduces errors. This site contains resources and tools to help you complete the form, including a list of documents and information you need to file. Students must submit the FAFSA each year to be eligible for financial aid (along with any other college-specific financial aid form that may be required, such as the CSS Profile). Any colleges you list on the FAFSA will also receive a copy of this report. There is no cost to submit the application. It will take about 45-60 minutes to complete and it is best if you complete it with your student.

The FAFSA looks at a family’s income, assets and household information (for example, family size) to figure out what a family can afford to pay. This figure is known as the EFC, or expected family contribution. All financial aid packages are built around this number.

When you calculate income, it uses information in your tax return from two years ago. This year is often referred to as the “base year” or the “prior year.” For example, the 2023-2024 FAFSA will use income information from your 2021 tax return, so 2021 would be the base year or prior year.

Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year

When counting assets, it uses the current value of your and your child’s assets. Some assets are not counted and do not need to be listed on the FAFSA. These include home equity in a primary residence, retirement accounts (eg, 401(k), IRA), annuities and cash-value life insurance. Student assets are far more difficult than parent assets; Students must contribute 20% of their assets versus 5.6% for parents.

College And Career Center / Financial Aid

Your EFC remains constant, no matter which college your student attends. The difference between your EFC and a college’s cost of attendance equals your student financial need. Your student’s financial needs will be different at each school because of the cost of attendance.

After your EFC is calculated, the financial aid administrator at your student’s school will attempt to create an aid package to meet your child’s financial need by offering a combination of loans, grants, scholarships and work study. Keep in mind that colleges are not obligated to meet 100% of your child’s financial needs. If they don’t, you are responsible for paying the difference.

Citizens will need their Social Security number, driver’s license number, and tax and income records. The FAFSA checklist can be helpful to look at in advance to make sure you have all the documents together before filling out the application.

Yes, you should probably file a FAFSA even if your student is unlikely to qualify for aid. There are two good reasons to do this.

Fafsa Application Process

You need to complete the FAFSA form between October 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, to be considered for federal financial aid for 2023-2024,

Although you don’t need to complete the FAFSA by October 1, it’s a good idea to submit it as early as possible in the fall because some federal aid programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Colleges typically have a priority filing date for both incoming and returning students; The priority filing date can be found in the financial aid section of a college’s website. You should submit the application before this date.

There are federal, state and school deadlines. The FAFSA deadline set by the federal government is June 30, 2024 for the 2023-2024 school year. Any corrections or updates to your FAFSA application must be made by September 10, 2024. Colleges and states may set their own earlier FAFSA deadlines. It is important to look at all the deadlines to make sure you apply on time. The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of receiving financial aid.

Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year

Also, if you have not applied for financial aid for the 2022-2023 academic year, you have until June 30, 2023 to apply.

Financial Aid Monthly Timeline

File early for the best chance to receive financial aid. Many states distribute funds until they run out so the earlier you apply, the better chance you have of receiving financial aid.

The parent with whom you have lived for the past 12 months should be the one filling out the FAFSA application. If your parents still live together, you will need information from both parents.

Yes, you can make changes to your FAFSA if you find any errors and need to update information. Simply log in to and then go to the “My FAFSA” page and then click on “Make FAFSA Corrections”.

You should receive your Student Aid Report around 3 days to 3 weeks after submitting the FASFA form.

We Make Applying For Financial Aid Simple And Straightforward

Fill out the FAFSA early, even if you think you don’t qualify, so you’ll know your EFC and evaluate the different financial aid packages and the implications at each school. Sometimes the more expensive school can be a better deal. Most families are eligible for some form of federal financial aid for college.

If you’re interested in ways to save and pay for college, check back soon as we do a whole series on saving for college. Finally, if you are saving for college, you should have a strategy to maximize your money and resources. Feel free to schedule a free discovery call with one of our financial advisors today!

Shanna Due, AFC® is a financial planner based in Williamsburg, Virginia. She uses her master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado, her certifications and two decades of experience to help professionals in their 30s and 40s achieve their financial goals. She does this through goal-oriented savings and investing, reducing taxes, planning for retirement and mitigating risk. To find out how she and the District Capital Management team can help you schedule a free discovery call.

Do I Need To Apply For Fafsa Every Year

District Capital is an independent, fee-only financial planning firm. We help professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s raise their finances and maximize their money. We are based in Washington, DC and we work with people virtually nationwide.

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