1) Create a Financial Aid file
- Organize paperwork from colleges and the Department of Education. Record your user names and passwords for the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE and other accounts.
2) Create a Federal FSA ID
- For each parent and college bound student. This FSA ID and password is needed to apply for financial aid. If you do not have a Federal FSA ID create one at www.StudentLoans.gov.
4) Practice completing the FAFSA
- At FAFSA4Caster.gov during December to help you understand the questions that will be asked. This information will automatically transfer to the real FAFSA in January.
5) Prepare to submit an estimated FAFSA
- During the month of January. Use your previous year Federal taxes or your last paystubs to estimate your income and retirement contributions. This will hold your place in line until you file your taxes.
6) Transfer your tax data
- Via the IRS data retrieval tool inside the FAFSA.
7) Check email
- For additional documentation requested by colleges to complete your Financial Aid Award application. Award Packages come from the colleges after March 1st each year.