A common misconception for families is that they should not complete the FAFSA because they will not qualify for money. Don’t leave money on the table! The FAFSA is used to determine if a student is eligible for federal grants, loans, and work-study. Some colleges & universities will also use the FAFSA for school-based aid packages. Every family should file a FAFSA to ensure they are considered for the maximum financial aid package at each college.
Complete the FAFSA fall of your senior year at: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
The FAFSA determines:
- Grants – Money awarded that does not need to be repaid
- Loans - Money that can be borrowed by students and/or parents
- Work-study – Some colleges & universities will offer the opportunity to work on campus to help cover tuition costs.
The FAFSA is the first step in getting federal financial aid for college and trade schools. Submitting the FAFSA is free and will take about 30 minutes to complete.
Before Beginning your FAFSA
- Gather the documents you will need. Begin with your Social Security Number, driver’s license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records
- Both the student and the parent are required to create an FSA ID. This will be used as a username and password to access the FAFSA, confirm identity and electronically sign the FAFSA. Learn more about creating your FSA ID here.
There were some changes to the FAFSA recently:
You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA earlier. You can file your 2019-2020 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2018, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
You’ll use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students were required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information. For the 2019-2020 FAFSA, you will report your 2017 income and tax information.
Learn more about the changes here.
Each fall the Coeur d’Alene School District hosts a FAFSA and Financial Planning nights. We encourage all families to attend to collect helpful planning information as well as hands on help with the FAFSA. Please check the calendar for upcoming workshop dates. The College & Career Advisor is also available to assist with the FAFSA.