Who can assist me with any FAFSA questions I might have?
If you have general questions, you can call the Federal Student
Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) with
questions about the FAFSA online or paper application process, or
about federal student financial aid in general.
I'm not sure if I want to take out a student loan or work during
the school year. What should I enter for the questions asking if
I am interested in student loans or work-study?
Some schools use this information to put together a financial aid
package for you. Answering "Yes" on the FAFSA to either question
does not obligate you to take out a loan or accept a work-study
position. It usually just means that the school will offer you a
loan(s) or work-study as part of your aid package. If you do indicate
on the application that you are interested in either a loan or work-study,
you can change your mind and not accept the loans or work-study
If I live with an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, should that relative's
income be reported instead of parental information?
Only if the relative is your adoptive parent. Dependent students
are considered dependent only on their parent(s) and must report
only parental information on the FAFSA. You must report (in Worksheet
B) any cash support given by relatives, but not in-kind support
(such as food and housing) from relatives.
If I am in the National Guard or am an active duty military
member, am I considered a veteran for purposes of filling out the
If you were a member of the National Guard or were a Reservist
called to active duty for purposes other than training and were
released under a condition other than dishonorable, you are considered
a veteran for FAFSA purposes.
If you are on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines
or Coast Guard, but will be a veteran by the end of the academic
year (June 30), you are considered a veteran for FAFSA purposes.
If your active duty will continue past June 30, however, you are
not considered a veteran for FAFSA purposes.
I'll be filing a tax return this year but I probably won't get
around to it until April. How should I answer the financial questions
on the FAFSA? Should I wait to fill out this form until after I've
filed my tax return?
Ideally, you should complete a FAFSA after you've done your tax
return, but don't wait until April. Many colleges award aid on a
first-come, first-served basis. Also, you may not be eligible for
state aid if you wait until April to submit your FAFSA. Many state
aid deadlines are early in the calendar year. If you haven't submitted
your tax return, you should calculate your Adjusted Gross Income
(AGI) and taxes paid using the instructions for IRS Form 1040. You
can get the instructions and the form at a public library or download
them in Portable Document Format (PDF) from www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html
If my parents are divorced, whose information do I need?
The parent with whom you lived with the most during the 12 months
preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. If you did not live
with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental
information must be provided for the parent from whom you received
the most financial support during the preceding 12 months, or the
parent from whom you received the most support the last time support
I am entering financial information for my mother and stepfather
on the FAFSA. Should I give my biologicial father's Social Security
Number (SSN) and last name, or my stepfather's?
You should provide the SSN and last name of the same person or
people for whom you are reporting financial information. In this
case, provide the SSNs and names of your mother and stepfather.
What should I (the student) do if my family has special circumstances
that aren't mentioned in the application?
Talk to your college's financial aid officer (FAO). If your family's
circumstances have changed from the base year due to loss of employment,
loss of benefits, death, or divorce, the FAO may decide to adjust
data elements used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution.
The adjustment may increase your eligibility for student aid.
How does a family decide who should be counted in the household
Anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support
from a dependent student's parents, or an independent student and
spouse may be counted in the household size even if that person
does not reside in the house. For example, a sibling who is over
24 but still receives the majority of his/her support from the parents
can be included. Siblings who are dependent (as defined by the FAFSA)
as of the date you apply for aid are also included, regardless of
whether they receive more than 50% of their support from the parents.
Any other person who resides in the household and receives more
than 50% support from the parents may also be counted, as long as
they will continue to reside with your parents and the support is
expected to continue through the end of the upcoming academic year.
An unborn child who will be born during the award year may also
be counted in the household size.
Household size and tax exemptions are not necessarily the same.
Exemptions look at the previous year or tax year and household size
refers to the school year for which the student is applying for
My parents separated four months ago. I live with my father.
My parents filed a joint tax return and claimed me as an exemption.
Do I report both their incomes, or just my father's?
Report only your father's income and asset information because
you lived with him the most during the past 12 months.
If I (the student) am separated but filed a joint tax return,
how is the information reported?
You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and
Who qualifies to be counted in the number in college?
Any person (other than your parents) who is counted in the household
and will be attending any term of the academic year at least half
time can be counted as the "numberi college". The person must be
working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized education
credential at a postsecondary school eligible to participate in
the federal student aid programs. You (the student) need not be
enrolled half time to be counted in the number in college.
What if I don't get a SAR Acknowledgement or SAR (Student
Aid Report), or I need another copy of that form?
If you do not receive your SAR Acknowledgement within two weeks
or SAR within four weeks after submitting your FAFSA application,
call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID
(1-800-433-3243). If you have a touch-tone phone, you can use the
automated system to find out whether your application has been processed
or to request duplicate copies of your report. You will need to
provide your Social Security Number and the first two letters of
your last name. You can also check the status of your FAFSA and
print a copy of your SAR at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
If you file your FAFSA online, you will get a confirmation notice
after you click on "Submit My FAFSA Now". If you submitted a paper
FAFSA and you want confirmation it was received, complete and send
in the postcard that comes along with the application. The postcard
will be stamped by the processor, upon receipt, with the date of
its receipt, and will be sent back to you. Either of these actions
will at least let you know that your application was received.