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5 Tips to Complete the New FAFSA

February 6, 2024
By Megan Lehr

5 Tips to Complete the New FAFSA
The much anticipated FAFSA for the 2024-2025 school year is now open and it’s best to file as soon as possible to improve your chances of qualifying for the most grants and scholarships. The FAFSA is a form you fill out every year you are in college to give your college, state, and federal government the information they need to determine your eligibility for financial aid. The FAFSA can feel overwhelming, but these five tips will help you conquer every step of the process!


Before you start

Create your FSA ID

Your FSA ID is a username and password that serves as your legal signature. You will use it to complete the FAFSA and access all federal student aid websites throughout college. Additionally, if you're considered dependent on the FAFSA, at least one parent must create an FSA ID, even if they don’t have a social security number. At least three days before starting the FAFSA, go to and click "Create Account" to create an FSA ID. uAspire’s handout walks you through the process.


Collect necessary information

The 2024-2025 FAFSA requires 2022 tax information, and even though the FAFSA should transfer most of the needed information when you provide consent on the form, it’s helpful to gather your and your family’s tax packet early in the process. Grab your 1040 tax form, plus any schedules that were filed, as well as any W-2s from that year. If your family doesn’t file taxes, you don’t have to gather any tax information. Use our FAFSA checklist to see what other information you’ll need and to keep track of it all. 


Fill out the FAFSA

Provide consent on the FAFSA

To be eligible for federal student aid, like the Pell Grant or federal student loans, you must provide consent on the FAFSA, which allows the IRS to share your federal tax information with Federal Student Aid. This process is required of all contributors, regardless of tax filing status. Consent is easy to provide on the FAFSAjust click “approve” when asked on the form. Most contributors will see very few income and tax questions after consenting. 


Double-check before submitting

Before submitting your FAFSA, you’ll see a review page summarizing your responses. Take a moment to review your answers to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes. This is a crucial step to save time and ensure you receive your aid promptly. If you spot any errors, correct them now so you won’t have to return to make changes later. 


Sign and submit the FAFSA

You must check the box at the end of your section and sign your FAFSA. If you’re required to include parent information, at least one parent will need to complete their section and sign the FAFSA. Once all contributors have signed their sections, you can submit your FAFSA to be processed. Just note that FAFSAs submitted in January or February will be processed in March at the earliest. 

For more FAFSA resources, go to