free application for federal student aid (fafsa)
- By filing the FAFSA you are making yourself eligible for all New York State aid, all Federal aid, and any individual college aid.
- The web address to fill out the FAFSA is www.fafsa.ed.gov. There are websites out there that try to scam you into paying money to file your FAFSA please be sure you are only using www.fafsa.ed.gov (not fafsa.net or fafsa.com or fafsa.org). The F in FAFSA stands for FREE so you should not be paying money to fill it out!
- Both the student and the parent MUST register for a PIN number. Do this at www.pin.ed.gov. The pin numbers will take the place of signatures.
- The FAFSA cannot be filed until October 1st of the student’s Senior year. You will be using the prior-prior tax year (so for class of 2018 the 2016 taxes). Deadlines will be in January unless you are doing ED/EA in which case they can be as early as 11/1.
- Please note – You will need to re-file each year, for the following year, while you are in college
- If you can, use the link to the IRS once you are on the FAFSA, which will populate all of your info for you. If you chose to do this do NOT change any of the numbers once it has populated, this will trigger a red flag and you will get asked for verification (a lengthy process).
- While filling out the form – you will be asked to list the six schools you are applying for. Don’t Panic! It’s OK if you are applying to more than six schools. BUT….. you should list the six schools that have the earliest deadines. You will have the opportunity to add more schools once it has been processed.
- At least one of the six schools MUST be in the State of New York to qualify for TAP (Tuition Assistance Program made possible by the state government). It doesn’t have to be a SUNY school – just a school in the State of New York. Indicating a New York school on the FAFSA will automatically generate a TAP application for you if you are eligible for the scholarship.
- A few weeks after you submit the FAFSA you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Please review this form carefully. If there are any mistakes, you will need to make the corrections online.
- If you are eligible, an Express TAP Application will be sent to you shortly after you receive the SAR. Notice that they have chosen only one school to receive TAP. Don’t worry about which school is listed. Look over the form for mistakes and send it back ASAP. You will be able to change the school where you are actually attending online after you have made your final college selection.
- File the appropriate forms as soon as possible. Try to be as accurate as possible. Correct any mistakes as soon as you become aware of them.
REMEMBER PAY ATTENTION TO SCHOOL DEADLINES AND FILE EARLY TO ENSURE THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE THE MOST AID YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR.