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STEP 1: Application for Financial Aid

Updated: 04/23/2015


An application is generally the first step in the financial aid process. A complete application must be submitted for all forms of financial aid. Many, if not all, colleges and universities ask that students complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a foundation for awarding all forms of aid, including scholarships.

To apply for Federal Student Aid, complete your FAFSA online at Remember, you must submit a new application for every new academic year.

Deadlines are important! Contact your college if you have any questions regarding deadlines. Use this Deadline Calculator for an overview.

To be eligible to apply for financial aid, a student must:

  • Be either a U.S. citizen OR

  •  Be a U.S. permanent resident (with alien registration number)

  • Have a valid social security number

  • Have a high school diploma or GED (some exceptions may apply)

  • Be enrolled or plan to be enrolled in college AND

  • Be working towards an eligible program of study

  • Be registered with selective service (males between 18-25)

 Please Note: Skill center certificate programs must have a minimum of 600 clock hours.

Materials Required to Complete Your FAFSA

  • Your social security number (can be found on social security card)

  • Your driver's license (if any)

  • Your W-2 Forms for the previous year and other records of money earned

  • Your current bank statements

  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stocks, bonds, and any other investment records

  • Your parent's Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year (if you are a dependent student as defined by federal criteria)

  • Your (and your spouse's, if you are married) most recent Federal Income Tax Return: IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040T telefile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia

  • Documentation that you are a U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen


See Tips: Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for more information.


Filed under: Finances v.7

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