Financial Aid

FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application submitted to determine if a student is eligible to receive federal and state grant money for college. The FAFSA for Fall 2019 will be available for completion on October 1, 2018. To qualify for need based aid, all applicants must file the FAFSA. 

On September 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that will impact millions of students. Starting 2017-2018, students were able to:

  • Submit a FAFSA Earlier: Students will be able to file a FAFSA as early as October 1 rather than beginning on January 1. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
  • Use Earlier Income Information: Students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2019–20 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2017 income information (already filed).

SCAM ALERT - The FAFSA is absolutely free. If you are on a website that is requiring a fee for processing the FAFSA, you are not on the correct website.

Steps to Complete the FAFSA:

  1. Prior to completing the FAFSA, the parent/guardian and student must apply for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID so that they may sign the application electronically. (The FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015.)
  2. Complete the FAFSA at  https://fafsa.ed.gov/ 
    When applying for financial aid, you'll need your FSA ID, income tax returns, W-2 forms and other records of income. A complete list of what is needed is on the FAFSA site.
     

7 things you need BEFORE you fill out the 2019-2020 FAFSA

Completing the FAFSA – 2018-2019

2018-2019 FAFSA – Paper Copy

FAFSA Submission Deadlines: 

  • College Deadline – Check with the college(s) you are interested in attending. You may also want to ask your college about its definition of an application deadline - whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA or the date your FAFSA is processed. 
  • State Deadline – January 15, 2019 (two monhts earlier that 2018 deadline)!
    Texas public colleges: For priority consideration, submit your application by January 15, 2019. Additional forms may be required. 
    Texas private colleges: Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.  
  • Federal Deadline – Online applications must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2019. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 23, 2019.

Best Resources for Getting Help with FAFSA 2019–20 – Not a government site, but has good information for students and parents

How to Complete the FAFSA  (from College Board)

FAFSA – The How-To Guide for High School Students (and the Adults Who Help Them)

Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA Form (from Dept. of Education)

Ultimate FAFSA Resource Guide (Smart Scholar)

Who is My Parent on FAFSA? - Especially important for students who have divorced parents or if they are living away from their parents at this time.

FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

24 Places to Get Help with the FAFSA – Includes links to FREE FAFSA web resources, to in-person FAFSA help, to toll-free help, and to financial aid/FAFSA Webinars

Your FAFSA Connection: Info, Answers, Tools – An extensive set of FAFSA tips and information.

Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Student Loans 101- Includes 12 videos and 22 lectures to help understand these topics