Gather the documents and information needed to complete the FAFSA ahead of time.
To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- A Federal Student Aid PIN to sign electronically. (If you do not already have one, visit http://www.pin.ed.gov to obtain one.)
If you are a dependent student, then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).
As part of their personal finance education resources, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers a “quick run down on some of the most common financial forms and documents that you’re likely to encounter”.
- Advice to high school seniors: fill out the FAFSA right now (Cost of College)
- Helpful FAFSA Q&A from Mark Kantrowitz (Cost of College)