The 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile are now available! If you are a parent of a high school senior or if you are a senior, that means that you should fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profiles (if applicable) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. A number of merit aid scholarships require the FAFSA or CSS Profile to be filled out, and you don’t want to miss those deadlines!
The FAFSA also determines eligibility for federal student loans and the federal student-work program. Registering for an FSA ID and password is the first step you need to take. Create your FSA ID here.
Florida students, make sure to register for the Florida Bright Futures and other grants and scholarships offered by the State of Florida: http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/bf/
For any questions about filling out the FAFSA, here are some tips to help you.
Before submitting the form, make sure you understand what is required. Using a name that does not match what is on your Social Security card or submitting any other wrong information can cause delays or reporting errors.
Important documents you will need to complete FAFSA include tax returns and financial documents. FAFSA does allow you to use tax records from one year earlier. For the 2020-21 application, for example, you can use the 2018 tax return.
Here is a quick list: 7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2020-21 FAFSA Form
Remember, there is no fee for filling out the FAFSA. Make sure you only use the official website: https://fafsa.gov/
Over 400 schools also require students to fill out the CSS/Financial Aid Profile alongside the FAFSA. Filling the CSS Profile out is not easy, but it’s worth the time. CSS is a large resource for college funding that can’t be accessed through the FAFSA alone.
Even if you think you may not be eligible for financial reasons, fill out the FAFSA. You will not know if you can receive aid unless you apply.