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How Do I Apply for FAFSA?

How Do I Apply for FAFSA?

Q: How do I apply for FAFSA?


A: FAFSA season is in full swing! Below, we’ve answered many of the questions you may have on applying for FAFSA.


When is my application due?


There are three FAFSA deadlines to note: federal, college, and state. The federal FAFSA submission has one set date, while each college and state sets its own deadlines.


To be considered for federal student aid for the 2021–22 award year, your FAFSA form must be completed between Oct. 1, 2020, and 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2022. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, 2022.


The application for the 2022-23 award year will become available on Oct. 1, 2021, and must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2023. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, 2023.


Many states and colleges have their own deadlines for submitting applications for state and institutional financial aid. You can find your state’s deadline here. Check with your college about its own deadlines.


Many states and colleges provide aid based on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your application in as soon as possible to increase your chances of receiving aid.


Who is eligible for FAFSA?


To qualify for FAFSA, you must meet the following criteria:


  • Show financial need.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.

  • Have a valid Social Security number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of Palau).

  • Men must be registered with Selective Service.

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college.

  • Have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent.


There are more eligibility requirements for FAFSA. You can view the full list of criteria here.


How do I apply for FAFSA?


You can now apply for FAFSA using the free myStudentAid app, or online at


You can also send in your application via snail mail, but it’s not recommended. Online applications are simpler, generally result in fewer errors, and are processed faster.

What common mistakes are made on FAFSA forms?


Here are some of the most common errors on FAFSA forms:


  • Leaving blank fields. Enter “0” or “not applicable” instead. 

  • Using commas or decimal points in numeric fields. Round to the nearest dollar. 

  • Listing an incorrect Social Security number or driver’s license number. 

  • Using the wrong name. 

  • Not using your permanent address.  

  • Forgetting to list your college. 

  • Forgetting to sign and date.


The sooner you apply, the better your chance at getting financial aid for college. Don’t delay; complete your FAFSA early! 

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