The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the most daunting of the financial aid forms, but it doesn't have to be. See how Fastweb simplifies the form.
WHAT is the FAFSA?
It is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines eligibility for need-based financial aid. The form will ask for student financial information, family size and the number of family members enrolled in college as well as the student's age, marital status and other demographic characteristics that will be used to determine whether the applicant is an independent student or dependent. If a student is dependent, parent information will also be required on the form.
WHY should I fill it out?
Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives you access to federal student aid to pay for your college, university or career school education. In addition, it can be used to apply for state grants and money from most colleges and universities.
WHO needs to fill out the form?
If the student is a dependent student, the application asks for information from both students and parents. However, if the student is an independent student, the application asks for information from the student. Furthermore, if the student is married, information from the student's spouse.
WHAT do I need to fill out the form?
Besides a FAFSA worksheet, school codes and a pin number, you need these items: FAFSA checklist.
WHERE do I get the FAFSA worksheet, school code and pin?
Grab the worksheet and school codes at and the pin at
HOW do I fill it out?
It's easiest to fill out the application online at because using an online form will yield a more accurate and quicker result. However, paper copies can be requested by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
WHEN is the form due?
It should be submitted as soon as possible on or after January 1 of the student's senior year in high school and each subsequent year, but it has an 18-month application cycle and can be submitted as late as June 30 of the academic year, or the by the last day of classes if that falls first. However, many states and colleges award their own financial aid funds based on the form, and may have much earlier deadlines for students to complete it. You can find school deadlines here.
Still confused? You're not alone.
Follow Peter as he learns how to file his form.

FAFSA Articles

  • What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?

    What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?
    The FAFSA for next school year will be released on January 1. All students, especially those that hope to benefit from financial assistance, need to complete the form as soon as possible after this date. Even if...
    Published December 2, 2014
  • Could You Be Giving Away Too Much on the FAFSA?

    Could You Be Giving Away Too Much on the FAFSA?
    The FAFSA is perhaps one of the most invasive questionnaires you and your family will ever complete. It asks about your private financial situation, special family circumstances and everything else in between. When it’s all said and done ...
    Published December 8, 2014
  • FAFSA Checklist

    FAFSA Checklist
    The FAFSA: one of - if not the most, daunting of financial aid forms. The name alone can make students shudder in fear. But, there's no reason to be afraid, Fastwebbers! We've got you covered; letting you know everything you need before you even think about filling out the form. It's important to gather all the necessary information and materials beforehand. ...
    Published December 8, 2014
  • FAFSA Information for DACA Students

    FAFSA Information for DACA Students
    The Immigration Policy Center estimates that “approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school” annually. DACA students are...
    Published December 10, 2014