The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an electronic form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the FAFSA is made available to the public on October 1st. Additionally, beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, two-year old US tax information is used to complete the financial sections of the FAFSA. The US Department of Education made these changes to more closely align the timing of the financial aid application process with the typical college application process and the needs of families. This change in using two-year old US tax information allows families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA to verify their tax information without a delay from the IRS processing tax information. Some financial aid is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA as soon as possible. This is because some schools and states have individual filing deadlines that may be earlier than their contemporaries.
In addition to demographic and financial information, applicants can list up to ten schools to receive the results of the application once it is processed. Although it was the case in the past, as of the 2016-17 academic year, schools no longer have access to view other schools that may be listed on a student’s FAFSA application.
After completing the FAFSA, students are presented with a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR provides a student with their potential eligibility for different types of financial aid, their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and a summary of the data a student provided in the application.
It is common for the SHS Counselors to receive questions concerning assistance with the FAFSA every year. Due to the uniqueness surrounding each families circumstances, counselors can only provide general answers and information. For better help, we encourage you to locate and attend a local FAFSA Help event provided by PHEAA or our annual FAFSA Completion Night. They can be located using the link below.
For individuals who would like to us a demonstration version of Federal Student Aid's 2021-2022 FAFSA, the following website is available...