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Tips for Applying for Aid

  • Apply online!

  • Apply as early as possible on or after January 2 for the next academic year.

  • Use completed federal tax returns if possible. Get your federal taxes done sooner! Use estimated returns only to meet deadlines.

  • Meet filing priority date (March 15).

  • Read the instructions carefully — don't assume!

  • Complete all asset questions.

  • Keep or save a copy of all documents submitted.

  • Respond promptly to any requests for information from the Financial Aid Office.


Frequent FAFSA Errors

  • Missing signature/PIN — dependent students* must have both student and parent signatures/PINs on the application!

  • Wrong Social Security Number

  • Wrong date of birth

  • Divorced/remarried parent information

  • Income earned by parents/stepparents

  • Untaxed income

  • U.S. income taxes paid

  • Household size

  • Number of family members in college

  • Not using real or legal name

  • Not making sure that the application is complete and confirmed complete



*You are a DEPENDENT student if you do NOT meet any of the following criteria:

  • Born before January 1, 1986

  • Married

  • Pursuing graduate degree (beyond bachelor's)

  • Have a child or children who receive more than half of their support from you

  • Have dependents (other than children and spouse) who live with you and who receive and will continue to receive more than half their support from you through June 30, 2010

  • You are an orphan or ward of the court (or were a ward of the court until age 18)

  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces ("veteran" includes students who attend a U.S. service academy and who were released under a condition other than dishonorable)

How to complete the FAFSA


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