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We are a professional FAFSA Preparer, not affiliated with the Department of Education. As a professional FAFSA Preparer, we adhere to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 to assist students and their families with FAFSA filings. Like filing your taxes, the FAFSA can be filed for free via paper or electronic forms without professional assistance at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Many people, however, choose to use a FAFSA Preparer, just like a Tax Preparer, for access to advice, consultation, and review of their important FAFSA application.
There are many unique benefits to our service which are not provided by the Department of Education. Click any benefit below for more details.
Any student or prospective student that wants to be considered for most of the available student aid must complete and file a FAFSA. Federal aid, state aid, and college-provided aid all usually start with a FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to determine how much and what type of aid the student is eligible for, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work study programs. For experienced help with preparing and filing your FAFSA, start on our application page or call us today.
Most people are eligible for some form of student financial aid, even if just for low-interest loans. To determine if you are eligible, you must file a FAFSA. However, following is a checklist you can use to determine if you may be eligible even before filing a FAFSA. If all of the following apply to you, you can take that as a good predictor that you will be eligible for at least one form of financial aid for higher education:
- The student has received their high school diploma or GED certificate (General Education Development). The equivalent of a high school education completed in a home school setting is also acceptable, as determined by the law in your state.
- You have a Social Security Number that is valid.
- You agree that any financial aid received will only be used for educational expenses.
- You are a valid citizen of the US, a permanent US resident with a valid Permanent Resident Card, or a US national. In other cases, you may receive financial aid if you are an eligible non-citizen.
- If the student is a male between the ages of 18 and 25, they must agree to let the FAFSA register them with the US Selective Service, or they must already be registered.
In general, the amount of available aid is limited, so the best time to apply for it is as soon as possible.
The soonest a FAFSA application can be filed with the Department of Education is on the January 1st preceding the academic year that you are requesting financial aid for. However by using our service, you can start even earlier. We can prepare your FAFSA for a future academic year now, and file it for you as soon as possible after January 1st, ensuring you the best chance at receiving the most aid.
An academic year is the 12 months from July 1st to June 30th. For example, the 2014-2015 academic year begins July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015.
There is an 18 month window to file a FAFSA for each academic year, beginning six months before the academic year on January 1st, and ending at the same time the academic year ends on June 30th. For example:
- The 2013-2014 academic year lasts from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. A FAFSA can be filed for the 2013-2014 academic year any time between January 1st, 2013 and June 30th, 2014.
- The 2014-2015 academic year lasts from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. A FAFSA can be filed for the 2014-2015 academic year any time between January 1st, 2014 and June 30th, 2015.
- The 2015-2016 academic year lasts from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. A FAFSA can be filed for the 2015-2016 academic year any time between January 1st, 2015 and June 30th, 2016.
It is also important to note that the FAFSA application is used to apply for federal, state, and college-sponsored aid, however each aid program may have its own deadlines. The dates above are the federal aid filing deadlines. State aid program deadlines are often sooner than the federal deadline. However, residents of any state can still file a FAFSA after their state deadline to apply for federal aid. To learn filing deadlines for college-sponsored aid, speak to the financial aid administrator at the college you wish to attend.
When you place an order for our service by 7pm Central Time on a state or federal holiday, we do our best to file it with the federal processor by midnight of that same day. But we cannot guarantee FAFSA filing times due to the many factors which may affect it, including the completeness and accuracy of information received, the volume of orders, the multiple technical platforms upon which order processing relies, and more. Therefore, we always recommend filing as soon as possible after the 1st of January, whether you use our services or file on your own directly with the government.
Finally, some deadlines apply to the filing date of the FAFSA, whereas other deadlines apply to the processing date of your FAFSA, which happens after filing. The federal deadlines listed in the bullet points above apply to the filing date of your FAFSA. When researching state aid and college-sponsored aid deadlines, make sure to pay attention to whether the date applies to the filing or processing of your FAFSA. When you place an order with our service to file your FAFSA, the processing of your FAFSA will typically be completed by the US Department of Education within 2 weeks after you provide them with your signature page.
Yes. Every year that a student is attending college and wishes to be considered for most types of financial aid, they must file a FAFSA.
Each academic year has its own FAFSA, so make sure that you file the FAFSA for the financial year for which you need aid. The 2012-2013 FAFSA is used to apply for aid for the 2012-2013 academic year, the 2013-2014 FAFSA is used to apply for aid for the 2013-2014 academic year, etc.
An academic year is most commonly the 10 months from August to May. You have an 18 month window to file the FAFSA for that academic year, beginning on the January 1st before the academic year, and ending on the June 30th following the academic year. Some specific examples:
- File the 2012-2013 FAFSA for the 2012-2013 academic year any time between January 1st, 2012 and June 30th, 2013.
- File the 2013-2014 FAFSA for the 2013-2014 academic year any time between January 1st, 2013 and June 30th, 2014.
- File the 2014-2015 FAFSA for the 2014-2015 academic year any time between January 1st, 2014 and June 30th, 2015.
In general, applying as soon as possible each year gives you the best chance of getting the greatest amount of aid.
You have several options available to you when working on your FAFSA. These options include using a third party service to prepare and file your FAFSA application, to ensure that it is prepared correctly and submitted securely.
You could also file via the paper copy method. The paper copy method requires printing, studying, self-preparing, and then mailing the 10-page document.
You could self-prepare and file directly with the government using a two-part online process, whereby you first apply for a PIN number from pin.ed.gov, then once you have received the PIN you can self-prepare and file your FAFSA online at the US Department of Education website.
Finally, you could make an appointment to visit a financial aid administrator in-person at the college you wish to attend, to ask them to help you prepare and file your FAFSA.
Given the various options, we're confident that you will find our service fast, easy to understand, accurate, and secure. Best of all, it's here right now, at your fingertips. Begin your FAFSA application now.
Our FAFSA filing service is a fee-based service, similar to hiring a tax preparer to assist you with preparing and filing a tax return. But there are a number of other options available to help students with financial aid applications, issues, and questions at no charge. Some of the organizations offering that help are listed below.
FAFSA on the Web
The free application offered from the US Department of Education can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. To use this government website to self-prepare your FAFSA application, you'll be asked to apply for and receive a Federal Student Aid PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov, and then return to fafsa.ed.gov to complete your FAFSA application. The entire process at the government website can comprise 20 separate pages or more, but it's hard to beat the price.
Financial Aid Administrators
Sometimes, there's nothing like good old fashioned face-to-face support. This kind of support can most easily be obtained by visiting a Financial Aid Administrator at the college you attend or wish to attend. They most likely have a Financial Aid Administrator on staff, and that administrator's job description includes assisting you with your questions about the process. You may need to make an appointment to visit their office, or you may be able to walk right in. If you have questions about how to prepare your FAFSA, make sure you bring supporting documentation such as identification cards, your most recent tax return, untaxed income records, bank statements, and any investment and business records.
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
By visiting www.nasfaa.org you can view online resources available to help you complete the FAFSA. It offers plenty of useful guides and information to assist with the financial aid process.
Federal Student Aid Information Center
The website www.studentaid.ed.gov is provided to you by the US Department of Education. It contains an extensive collection of articles designed to assist in getting the funding you need to continue education after high school. You may also call them at 800-4-FED-AID.
IRS is short for the United States Internal Revenue Service. The IRS requires individuals to file income tax returns every year using forms such as the 1040, 1040-EZ, or 1040-A.
The connection between the IRS and the FAFSA is that the FAFSA application asks for some of information from your tax return, such as adjusted gross income, number of exemptions, and income tax amount. For this reason, it's recommended that you find your most recent 1040, 1040-EZ, or 1040-A before starting a FAFSA application.
If you haven't yet filed your taxes, it is possible to estimate this information on your FAFSA. If you do estimate it, you should correct the FAFSA information you estimated as soon as you file your taxes.
To correct previously filed FAFSA information, visit https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa and log in with the student's first name, last name, Social Security Number, and date of birth, then click Make FAFSA Corrections. At that point, you will need to enter a Federal Student Aid PIN number. If you don't already have a PIN, you can get one at http://www.pin.ed.gov.
Dependency is a term used by the Department of Education (ED), related to the Expected Family Contribution number that they calculate for students.
If the ED determines that a student is a dependent student, they will require parent financial information on the FAFSA to determine if the student's parents will be able to contribute money towards the student's higher education. It doesn't matter if the student's parents actually support the student financially or not. If the ED determines that a student is dependent and that the student's parents could contribute money, the amount that the ED determines that the student's parents could contribute will be factored into the Expected Family Contribution calculation.
If the ED determines that a student is an independent student, they will not require parent financial information on the FAFSA.
The ED uses various factors such as a student's age, marital status, other family factors, educational status, residential history, and Armed Forces experience to determine if they consider a student dependent or independent.
The time it takes to complete a FAFSA application will vary from applicant to applicant. This is because different applicants are required to answer different numbers of questions, some applicants will have all of the necessary resources on hand before they start and some won't, and simply because some people work faster than others.
Our recommendation is to gather the following resources before you begin:
- Identification information such as your Social Security Number, driver's license or state ID card, and alien registration or permanent resident card if applicable.
- Income information and tax forms such as your W-2, recent pay stub, and last year's taxes filed such as form 1040, 1040A, or 1040 EZ.
- Untaxed income records such as child support received, worker's compensation, and veteran's non-education benefits.
- Current bank statement, business records, and stock, bond, and other investment records.
You can then expect possibly a 30 minute experience to enter your answers for all FAFSA application fields. We also offer phone support to even walk you through each question if you desire. As a FAFSA preparation and filing service, we use our expertise in the process to help customers prepare and file the application as quickly and accurately as possible, saving you valuable time.
Yes. If you use our service to prepare and file your FAFSA, we will file your FAFSA with the US Department of Education (ED). We'll then e-mail you instructions on how to provide required signatures. The ED's deadline for receiving your signature is 14 days, so we recommend you complete this step as soon as possible.
Typically 2 weeks after receiving your signatures, the ED will e-mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR). They will also forward the SAR to any colleges you listed on the FAFSA. The SAR is the notification/proof that your filed FAFSA has been processed.
More detailed financial aid award letters will be received from your college(s) after they have received your SAR from the ED. Often, colleges will wait to begin the preparation of financial aid award packages until after they have accepted your request for admission.
EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. The Department of Education (ED) uses the FAFSA to calculate an EFC number for a student.
The EFC number generally represents the amount of money that ED believes a student and/or their parents are capable of contributing towards the student's higher education, whether or not the student or student's parents will actually contribute any money towards the student's higher education.
Financial aid programs will then use that EFC number, among other factors, to determine the specific types and amounts of financial aid that the student qualifies for.
In the context of federal student aid, PIN stands for the Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number. A Federal Student Aid PIN can be used to access personal information on various Department of Education websites. The PIN can also sometimes be used as a digital signature.
For example, if you need to correct FAFSA information that has already been filed, you can go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa and log in with the student's first name, last name, Social Security Number, and date of birth, then click Make FAFSA Corrections. At that point, you will need to enter the PIN.
If you don't already have a PIN, you can get one at http://www.pin.ed.gov.
Typically colleges will begin sending out financial aid award notices to students in the spring, directly from their financial aid offices. Please note that often colleges will not begin the preparation of financial aid award packages until after they have accepted your request for admission. You may also call the college(s) that you listed on your FAFSA to inquire when they will start sending out their award notices. You usually can find their contact numbers by searching for the \"financial aid\" link on their websites.
Completing a FAFSA is the first step in applying for most federal, state, and college-provided financial aid for students. It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid because it is filed with the US Department of Education, but most state-sponsored and college-sponsored aid requires the same FAFSA filing, so it is not only for federally sponsored student aid as the name might imply.
The FAFSA is used by aid providers to determine the amount of the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount that they expect the student's family could contribute toward the student's college education. EFC varies from student to student since it is based on the specific financial situation of the student and often of the student's parents as well.
The FAFSA is often 100+ questions long and can cover various areas such as the student's family situation, the student's educational background, the student's educational plans and prospective colleges, the student's finances, the student's spouse's finances, and the student's parents' finances. Whether or not parent financial information is required depends on whether or not the student is determined to still be a dependent of one of their parents.
Once the FAFSA application is completed and filed, a federal processor will examine all the information provided and pass the examination results on to the financial aid offices of the preferred colleges listed on the FAFSA.
In short, the FAFSA is often the first step in applying for your share of the billions of dollars in student financial aid that are available every year, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs. We can help prepare and file your FAFSA now, on the web or over the phone. Start today and file with confidence, using our proven assisted service.
A FAFSA Preparer is a person or service that charges a fee for assistance in the preparation and filing of a FAFSA application. Fee-based FAFSA assistance was created and authorized by the federal government in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008.
The best way to understand the service is to compare it to a paid tax preparer. You can prepare and file an income tax return on your own and unassisted for no fee. However, millions of Americans choose to use the services of a paid tax preparer or fee-based tax preparation software to assist them in the process. Similarly, you can prepare and file a FAFSA, which is often well over 100 questions long, on your own and unassisted for no charge. Or you can use the services of a fee-based preparation and filing service such as FAFSA-Application.com to simplify the process.
We work hard to earn your business through our unique, intuitive online tools and personal one-on-one support. We're happy to help you prepare and file your FAFSA application today. You can even call us at 877-207-3050 for question-by-question support.
Yes. We encourage all students to file a FAFSA to apply for student financial aid. Generally, most people are eligible for some form of aid, regardless of the income of the student or their parents. Billions of dollars in aid are available every year, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs, and the FAFSA is the first step in applying for most of that aid.
The FAFSA is one application used to apply for three different types of student aid: federal student aid, state student aid, and college-sponsored student aid. You only have to submit a FAFSA once each academic year to apply for all three types of aid, however each type of aid may have its own deadlines.
Federal aid can be applied for until June 30th at the end of each academic year. For example, the deadline to submit the FAFSA for federal aid for the 2014-2015 academic year is June 30th, 2015. Some state aid programs may have earlier deadlines, but even if a state deadline has passed, you can still submit the FAFSA to apply for federal aid.
It is also important to understand that state aid is based upon the state of the student's legal residence, not necessarily the state that the college is in. "State of legal residence" is usually defined as the location of the student's permanent home. If the student moved into a state for the sole purpose of attending a school, do not count that as the state of legal residence.
View more information about various state aid application deadlines below. All dates given imply Central Time.
It is not necessary to mail any additional documents in order to file a FAFSA, but there are several documents which you will need to have available for reference.
Note that you will need financial and tax information for the year preceding the academic year for which you are filing a FAFSA.
For example, to complete a FAFSA for the 2012-2013 academic year, you will need financial and tax information for 2011.
- You may need your W-2 forms for the previous year or other records of money earned.
- You may need your Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year. This may be IRS 1040, 1041A, 1040 EZ, or another form.
- You may need your parents' Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year if you are a dependent student.
- You may need your spouse's Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year if you are married.
- You may need your untaxed income records for the previous year.
- You may need your current bank statements and investment records.
- You may need your Social Security Card if you do not know your Social Security Number.
- You may need your driver's license if you have one.
- You may need your alien registration or permanent resident card if you are not a citizen of the United States.
Once you've collected these documents, you will be ready to begin filing your FAFSA online.
The US Department of Education's FAFSA application is complex. It can be over 100 questions long and cover all manner of household, educational, and financial details. You can fill it out the application and file it on your own, unassisted, and at no cost. But understandably, that can be stressful and confusing. Stress and confusion can lead to inaccuracies, and inaccuracies can reduce your chance of receiving all of the financial aid that you deserve.
For that reason, many people choose to use an assisted FAFSA filing service. Just like a tax preparer can help you navigate your annual tax forms, a FAFSA preparer can help you understand the FAFSA application, and even file it for you.
The heart of our FAFSA filing service is simplicity and ease of use. We've given the FAFSA a unique online redesign to make it more accessible and easier to understand. For example,
- We've re-worded many of the questions using more universal, consistent, and easy to understand language.
- We've re-arranged questions into more logical sections, and re-ordered sections into a more natural and intuitive progression.
- We've reduced the number of pages and clicks necessary to complete an application, and our unique progress bar makes it easier to see exactly where you are in the process and how much you have remaining.
You can also call us to speak to a personal FAFSA preparer. We can even walk you through the application question by question if you like. And we provide faster e-mail support than the federal government - we strive to answer all e-mails within one day, even on weekends. You should expect a greater degree of support when paying a personal service to assist you, and we strive exceed that expectation.
In short, you've never filed a FAFSA before. We have, and we've put our experience to work by designing a better process. So let us help you file your FAFSA today.
ED is the official abbreviation for the United States Department of Education. It is abbreviated as ED instead of DOE because the letters DOE refer to the United States Department of Energy.
The ED is the United States federal government agency responsible for operating the FAFSA program and other federal student aid programs through its Federal Student Aid office.
You can call the ED's Federal Student Aid office at 800-433-3243. If you need to talk to the ED about a FAFSA application that has already been filed, they may require you to provide your DRN number.
You can list up to ten colleges on the web application page for our FAFSA filing service. This will instruct the US Department of Education to forward your SAR (Student Aid Report) to those colleges. A Financial Aid Administrator at each college will use that SAR along with other information that you provide directly to them to prepare your financial aid award package.
Yes. For example, if you want to file a 2012-2013 FAFSA as soon as possible for the 2012-2013 academic year, you can do so on January 1, 2012. It will require information from your 2011 taxes. But understandably, you probably won't file your 2011 taxes until getting your W-2 from your employer at the end of January 2012.
The solution is to simply estimate your 2011 tax information on your 2012-2013 FAFSA. Then, after you have filed your 2011 taxes, you can correct your 2012-2013 FAFSA information, if necessary.
To correct FAFSA information that was previously filed, first wait to receive your SAR (Student Aid Report), which indicates that your initial filing has been processed. This typically happens within 2 weeks of providing the Department of Education with your signature. Then go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa and enter the student's first name, last name, Social Security Number, and date of birth. Then click on Make FAFSA Corrections. You will then need to enter a Federal Student Aid PIN number. If you don't already have a PIN, you can get one by going to http://www.pin.ed.gov.
After you use our service to prepare and file your FAFSA application for student financial aid, we will file your FAFSA with the US Department of Education (ED). We'll then e-mail you an update, including instructions on how to provide your required signature(s). You can also retrieve the instructions for your order by visiting www.FAFSA-Application.com/log-in.php. The ED's deadline for receiving your signature(s) is 14 days, so you should complete that step as soon as possible.
Approximately 2 weeks after receiving your required signature(s), the ED will e-mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR). Receipt of the SAR indicates that your filed FAFSA application has been processed. The ED will also send the SAR to any colleges you listed on the FAFSA. The SAR will contain the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number that the ED has calculated for you. Financial aid programs will then use that EFC number, among other factors, to determine the specific financial aid that you qualify for. Information on the aid you are eligible for, and how much of each type, will be received from your college(s) after they have received your SAR from the ED. Colleges will often wait to begin the preparation of financial aid award packages until after they have accepted your request for admission.
SAR stands for Student Aid Report. You, along with any colleges you list on the FAFSA, will receive the SAR typically within 2 weeks of the Department of Education (ED) receiving your FAFSA application and signatures. If you use our service, we will prepare and file your FAFSA application, but you must send your signatures directly to the ED with 14 days for the ED to process your filing. We will send you instructions on how to do that.
The SAR serves as your proof that your filed FAFSA application has been processed. It will provide the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number that the ED has calculated for you. The ED and other aid providers will then use that EFC number along with other data to determine your financial aid.
Information on the specific financial aid you are eligible for, and how much of each type, will be received from your college(s) after they have received your SAR from the ED and accepted your request for admission.
DRN stands for Data Release Number. It is a 4-digit number listed on the FAFSA filing confirmation page, in addition to the longer Filing Confirmation Number. The DRN is also listed on the Student Aid Report (SAR).
If you call the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office about a FAFSA application that has already been filed, they may require you to provide your DRN number.
When using our services, you can review your application and make any necessary changes to it before submitting it for filing. Once you have submitted our checkout page for payment of our service fee, we will promptly prepare and submit your application to the Department of Education (ED).
After that point, wait to receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) before attempting corrections. The SAR will be received via e-mail typically within 2 weeks of you providing the ED with your required signature(s). After receiving the SAR, follow these steps to correct your FAFSA information: Go to the log-in page at https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa . Log in with the student's first name, last name, Social Security Number, and date of birth. On the next screen, click Make FAFSA Corrections. It will then ask you to enter a Federal Student Aid PIN number. You can get a PIN number at http://www.pin.ed.gov if you don't already have one.
Often simple mistakes can be avoided by using a FAFSA preparation service knowledgeable in completing the FAFSA.
- FAFSA — Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- ED — United States Department of Education. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- IRS — United States Internal Revenue Service. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- DRN — Data Release Number. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- SAR — Student Aid Report. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- EFC — Expected Family Contribution. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.
- PIN — Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number. Click the following link for a more detailed explanation.