FAFSA 23-24 (Oct 1 2022-June 30 2024) - part 1 - 9/16/2022
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for federal and state student grants, work-study, and loans. You can apply online at fafsa.gov. As the name says, this is a free form, whether you fill out the paper or online form. There are services that will charge you to fill it out for you, but there is no better result from paying them than there would be from you doing it yourself.
The first thing to know is that the FAFSA form can be submitted starting on October 1, 2022 and it is in your (or your student's) best interest to submit it as soon as possible. Some awards are given out on a first come, first serve basis, and the sooner you file the more opportunities are available.
To fill out the FAFSA there is certain information you need to have available. The 23-24 form requires the information from your 2021 tax return. If you haven't filed yet, fill in the information as best you can, using estimated information and update it when the return is filed. There is an IRS data retrieval tool (DRT) that can pull down your 2021 tax return if you do not have a physical copy available to fill out the form.
**There are certain situations where the DRT isn't available or is not correct. Remember to review all information before submitting.
The questions on the form may seem intrusive, but they are important. They help to determine the Expected Family Contribution, which is used to determine your need and eligibility for different financial awards. I use the word 'awards' to cover all types of financial assistance.
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