You can get an estimate of your federal financial aid eligibility by completing the FAFSA4caster. The FAFSA4caster can link to the FAFSA to help you pre-fill some portions.
If you have already filed your taxes, use the IRS Retrieval Tool on the electronic FAFSA to connect directly to the Internal Revenue Service for your updated tax data.
Or get a paper FAFSA from your high school counselor, the local library, or your college's financial aid office.
Be sure to file early to meet deadlines.
New York State residents who include a New York school on their FAFSAs may apply for State aid, including New York's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), immediately after completing the FAFSA by using the special link on the FAFSA Submission Confirmation page.
What Happens Next
You’ll get a Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizing your FAFSA and including your Estimated Family Contribution. Review it and make any corrections.
You’ll get an award letter from your college stating the aid you can expect if you attend that school. Consider the options outlined in the letter including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs.
Tell the financial aid office that you accept or reject all or part of the financial aid package. Complete any other forms required by the school.
If you need a federal loan, follow the instructions in your college award letter. Visit studentloans.gov for information and application procedures.
Apply for Aid Each Year You’re in College
Never assume that because you received aid in one academic year you'll automatically get it again the next year. Review each program's application procedures carefully and reapply each year when necessary.
If you filled out a FAFSA the year before, you can probably use the shorter Renewal FAFSA and TAP application.