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File the FAFSA (on time)

In order to be eligible for financial aid from the federal government, your state and your college, you will have to file the FAFSA by Indiana’s March 10 deadline.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the gold standard for determining your eligibility for financial aid, money to help you pay for college. The easiest way to file the FAFSA is online at FAFSA.gov. FAFSA.gov also provides a printer-friendly PDF if you prefer to mail your FAFSA.

After filing your FAFSA, your college will be able to tell you which scholarships and grants you could receive as well as how much money you can borrow in federal loans such as the Parent PLUS loan.

Who should file the FAFSA?

Anyone who will be in college the following fall should file the FAFSA, including high school seniors. You should file the FAFSA even if you’re not sure if you will enroll, or if you are currently in college. You’ll never know your financial aid package if you don’t file the FAFSA. And if you fail to file, you could lose scholarships and other financial aid you currently have.

What’s the deadline?

You should file the FAFSA by March 10. The form is available January 1. Check with your college or the colleges you hope to attend to make sure they don’t have an earlier deadline. Some colleges also have additional financial aid paperwork, so make sure you aren’t missing anything important.

What do I need to file the FAFSA?

If you are under 23, you will need your parents’ information as well as yours. The information you will need for the FAFSA includes:

  • Your Social Security number (can be found on a Social Security card)
  • Your driver’s license number (if you have a driver’s license)
  • Your and/or your parents’ most recent federal tax returns (IRS forms 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A)
  • Records of money earned, including W-2 forms and recent bank statements
  • Alien registration numbers or permanent residence cards, if you or your parents are not U.S. citizens

Where can I get help?

Each year, Learn More Indiana hosts the Cash for College campaign to help students save and pay for college. Find FAFSA tips and information on FAFSA-related events at CashForCollegeIndiana.org.

You can also find a College Goal Sunday location near you at CollegeGoalSunday.org. College Goal Sunday occurs each February to provide one-on-one FAFSA assistance at locations across the state.

What happens after I file my FAFSA?

You can read about the financial aid process here.

What if I lose my PIN?

Everyone who files the FAFSA receives a PIN, or personal identification number. If you lose your PIN you should request a duplicate at FAFSA.gov.

How can I get an estimate of my financial aid before filing the FAFSA?

The Indiana College Costs Estimator provides estimated financial aid packages for any college in Indiana. See which colleges are most likely to give you scholarships and find out how much you might be able to borrow in federal loans such as the Parent PLUS loan.

Which colleges should I include on my FAFSA?

You should include any college that you think you might attend in the fall. Remember that if you apply for several colleges, you may not be accepted at your top choice. You should always apply for at least one school that you know will accept you.

You will need each college’s federal school code. You can find codes at FAFSA.gov.

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