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How to Apply for Aid

In order to apply for financial aid you must first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is commonly called the FAFSA. This is the application that any student must complete to qualify for any type of federal financial aid. 

The FAFSA may be completed online at for FREE!


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  • Your Social Security number or Alien Registration number
  • W-2s from the appropriate year, if you worked in that year
  • Tax information for the appropriate year, if you filed taxes for that year
  •  Consent to use the Future Act - Direct Data Exchange
  • Your individual FSA ID
  • A personal email address

The FSA ID is the Federal Student Aid username and password that FAFSA contributors will need in order to provide consent to the Future Act - Direct Data Exchange and electronically sign the FAFSA.

The FSA ID may be created or edited at FSA ID. FAFSA contributors must create their own individual FSA ID since this will be used as an electronic signature that should only be used by the respective individual.

Students will use their FSA ID to sign the FAFSA and use the Future Act - Direct Data Exchange as well as complete entrance counseling and sign the master promissory note if they wish to borrow any federal direct loans. Students will also use their FSA ID to manage  all aspects of federal student aid in the future.

Other contributors will use their FSA ID to sign the FAFSA and  provide consent to the Future Act – Direct Data Exchange. Parents can use  their FSA ID to request a Federal Parent PLUS Loan if they wish to borrow an additional federal loan to assist their student. Graduate students could also use their FSA ID to request a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan.

For the 2023-2024 FAFSA only, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an option within the online FAFSA. This tool allows the student and/or parent to use their FSA ID to link to the IRS and import their federal tax information from the IRS onto the FAFSA for the appropriate year.

Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, using the IRS Future Act - Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) will enable contributors’ federal tax information (FTI) to be securely retrieved directly from the IRS to  the FAFSA application. This simplifies the process of filling federal tax information on the FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, this will reduce processing time and minimize the required paperwork. The Future Act mandates providing consent for the Direct Data Exchange of FTI, a prerequisite for receiving federal student aid.

Parent information is required on the FAFSA if you are unable to answer “Yes” to any of the FAFSA dependency questions.

  • Will you be 24 or older by Dec. 31 of the school year for which you are applying for federal student aid?
  • Will you be enrolled in and working toward a master’s or doctorate (such as M.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc)?
  • Are you married or separated but not divorced?
  • Do you provide more than 50 percent of the financial support of your children, if you have children?
  • Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
  • Are you an emancipated minor or are you in legal guardianship (not custody) as determined by a court?
  • Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting AND at risk of being homeless?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?

For a full list of dependency questions, visit the dependency questions page.

Once you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a confirmation with a copy of your FAFSA Submission Summary, which is a summary of the data provided on the FAFSA form. You will review the FAFSA Submission Summary for accuracy and if necessary, make corrections or updates to the submitted FAFSA data. You may also log in to your FAFSA using your FSA ID to view your FAFSA Submission Summary.