FAFSA INFORMATION PAGE

Roberto Clemente Community Academy is dedicated to making sure that 100% of our students are college ready. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students. On this page parents and students will find information on how to begin the FAFSA application.

Your FAFSA Team

Antonio Pryor
Post Secondary Coach
Jessica R. Romando
Senior Seminar Teacher
Tresa Mueller
12th Grade Counselor

8 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA

Step 1: Create an Account (FSA ID)

  • Student: An FSA ID is a username and password you need to log in to and sign the FAFSA online. If you don’t have an FSA ID, get one here ASAP. It takes about 10 minutes to create an FSA ID. If this will be your first time filling out the FAFSA, you’ll be able to use your FSA ID right away to sign and submit your FAFSA online. If this is not your first time filling out the FAFSA, you’ll need to wait 1–3 days before you can use your new FSA ID (there’s an account verification process).

IMPORTANT: Some of the most common FAFSA errors occur when the student and parent mix up their FSA IDs. If you don’t want your financial aid to be delayed, it’s extremely important that each parent and each student create his/her own FSA ID and that they do not share it with ANYONE, even each other.

Step 2: Start the FAFSA

The 2017-18 FAFSA is now available! It launched three months earlier than usual, on October 1, 2016. Even if your state and school deadlines aren’t for a while, you should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible because some types of financial aid may run out if you wait until the last minute to apply.

To get started, go to fafsa.gov and click “Start a New FAFSA”.

TIP: We recommend that the student start the FAFSA using the instructions below. It makes the application process much easier.

  • If you are the student: Click “Enter your (the student’s) FSA ID”, enter your FSA ID username and password, and click “Next”.
  • If you are the parent: Click “Enter the student’s information”, then provide the student’s name, Social Security number, and date of birth, and click “Next”.

2017-18 FAFSA Login Page Student or Parent

Choose which FAFSA you’d like to complete:

  • 2017–18 FAFSA if you will be attending college between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
  • 2016–17 FAFSA if you will be attending college between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
  • Both: If you will be attending college during both time periods and haven’t completed your 2016–17 FAFSA yet, complete that first, wait until it processes (1-3 days), then go back in and complete the 2017–18 FAFSA after.

TIP: If you are given the option to complete a “renewal” FAFSA, choose that option. When you choose to renew your FAFSA, your demographic information from the previous year will roll over into your new application, saving you lots of time.

Remember, the FAFSA is not a one-time thing. You must complete a FAFSA for each school year.

Create a Save Key

  • Unlike the FSA ID, the save key is meant to be shared. A save key is a temporary password that allows you and your parent(s) to “pass” the FAFSA back and forth. It also allows you to save the FAFSA and return to it later. This is especially helpful if you and your parent are not in the same place.

Step 3: Student Demographic Information

This is information like your name, date of birth, etc. If you have completed the FAFSA in the past or if you log into the FAFSA with your FSA ID, a lot of your personal information will be pre-populated to save you time. Make sure you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. (That’s right, no nicknames.)

Step 4: School Selection

Two-thirds of precollege FAFSA applicants list only one college on their applications. For many, this is a mistake! You are allowed and encouraged to add every school you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet. There is no harm in adding schools, so when in doubt, just add the school(s). You can add up to 10 at a time. If you’re applying to more than 10 schools, here’s what you should do.

Step 5: Dependency Status

In this section, you’ll be asked a series of specific questions to determine whether or not you are required to provide your parent’s information on the FAFSA.

These dependency guidelines are set by Congress and are different from those used by the IRS. Even if you live on your own, support yourself, and file taxes on your own, you may still be considered a dependent student for federal student aid purposes. If you are determined to be a dependent student, you’ll be required to report your parent’s information. If you’re determined to be an independent student, you won’t have to provide your parent’s information and you can skip the next step.

Step 6: Parent Demographics

This is where your parent(s) will provide basic demographic information. Remember that it doesn’t matter if you don’t live with your parent(s); you still must report information about them if you were determined to be a dependent student in the step above.

Start by figuring out who counts as your parent on the FAFSA.

Who is my parent when I fill out my FAFSA (Infographic)

For specific guidance, go here. If you are not able to provide parent info due to special circumstances, read this.

Step 7: Financial Information

Here is where you and your parent(s) (if applicable) will provide your financial information. This step is incredibly simple if you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is available within the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your IRS tax information into the FAFSA with just a few clicks. Using this tool also may reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide to your school. So if you’re eligible, use it!

More good news: Since the 2017-18 FAFSA requires earlier (2015) tax information, you’ll have already filed your taxes by the time you start the FAFSA. This means, you’ll be able to transfer your tax information right away and you won’t have to log back in later to update it!

To access the tool, indicate that you’ve “already completed” taxes on the student or parent finances page. If you’re eligible you’ll see an option to “Link To IRS”. Choose that option and follow the prompts.

Step 8: Sign & Submit

Here is where you and your parent(s) (if applicable) will provide your financial information. This step is incredibly simple if you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is available within the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your IRS tax information into the FAFSA with just a few clicks. Using this tool also may reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide to your school. So if you’re eligible, use it!

More good news: Since the 2017-18 FAFSA requires earlier (2015) tax information, you’ll have already filed your taxes by the time you start the FAFSA. This means, you’ll be able to transfer your tax information right away and you won’t have to log back in later to update it!

To access the tool, indicate that you’ve “already completed” taxes on the student or parent finances page. If you’re eligible you’ll see an option to “Link To IRS”. Choose that option and follow the prompts.

FAFSA TWITTER

Important FAFSA Documents