More than $67 billion in student financial aid was handed out by the government last year. Did you get your share? If not, would you like to know how? The first step is crucial: there’s a free application form from FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) available online. Fill one out immediately here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
Web or snail mail?
We all know which is quicker: web, by a long shot. But there are other advantages to using the Web form:
• Using snail mail, you will have to wait five weeks for a response. Use the Web and you will get your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three weeks. Usually one week is the norm.
• The web-based form on FAFSA can find errors in the form fields, which allows you to fix them and improve the accuracy of your application.
• The online application has fewer questions and it can be finished faster than a handwritten form.
• Once you complete the FAFSA form online, you will be issued a confirmation number, which helps speed the process even more later.
• There is an online sample worksheet. You can use this to make sure you're organized when you start the online application.
• You can save your work online and come back to it. Don’t know an answer for sure, but can’t check while you’re filling out the form? You can save what you have and come back later!
• You can use an electronic signature page. You can sign the FAFSA electronically using your PIN. What’s a PIN? See below.
• You can check the status of your application. You can check whether your FAFSA was received, completed and approved or rejected.
Get started fast - apply for a PIN
Want to speed the process up even more? Apply for an electronic PIN, or Personal Identification Number. If you do this, you can receive your SAR within one week! If you have a valid Social Security number, you can get a PIN. This PIN acts as your personal digital signature on all correspondence with FAFSA throughout your application process.
Renewal FAFSA on the web
Did you fill out a form last year? The renewal form on the web is much shorter and is available on the FAFSA web site.
Get started early! Many colleges give priority to students who submit their FAFSA applications close to January 1st. Don’t miss out on aid because of procrastination!
You can call the Department of Education Help Desk toll-free at 1-800-4-FED-AID
(1-800-433-3243) if you have questions.