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Completing the FAFSA

Tips on filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid


The most important advice about completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is to READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

There are two formats for filing the FAFSA. One is the traditional paper form and the other is FAFSA on the Web. Regardless of the method you choose, you'll complete the application more quickly if you have the right documents.

NOTE: Undocumented students don't qualify for federal financial aid and are not able to submit a federal FAFSA. However, these students can submit a MN Dream Act application to be considered for state financial aid.

Completing the FAFSA requires information like that requested on your federal income tax forms. Therefore, it's helpful to complete your taxes and have them available when completing the financial aid application.

You will need the following 2015 information to complete a FAFSA for the 2016-2017 school year:

  • Your Social Security card and driver's license.
  • Your parents' Social Security number.
  • W-2 Forms or other records of income earned.
  • Your (and your parents, if you're dependent) Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Records of other untaxed income received such as child support received, payments to tax-deferred pension plans, veteran's benefits, or military or clergy allowances.
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, and other investments.
  • Business or farm records, if applicable.
  • Your alien registration card (if you're not a U.S. Citizen).

Other things to keep in mind when completing the FAFSA:

  • Follow directions carefully as you complete your application; any errors will cause delays in processing or even the loss of financial assistance.
  • You should save all records and other materials used to prepare your application because you may be required to verify that it is correct.
  • Once you have accurately completed the FAFSA, send your application to the specified address or submit the application electronically.
  • After submitting the FAFSA on the Web, be sure to click on the Minnesota link on the confirmation page so you can be considered for state financial aid.
  • If you applied in 2015-2016, you will have the option of populating many of the fields on the 2016-2017 FAFSA with your responses on the 2015-20166 FAFSA.

Help in completing the FAFSA is available online.

You can also get help in completing the FAFSA by calling:

  • The Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 4-FED-AID.
  • The Office of Higher Education financial aid staff at (651) 642-0567 or (800) 657-3866.

Completing the FAFSA Flow Chart

Other Resources