What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form for current and prospective college students. It determines your eligibility for financial aid from the federal government, your state, college, and other organizations.

In 2023-2024, the FAFSA was revised with significant changes to make the application process easier and more accessible.

What new changes have been made to the FAFSA?

The FAFSA has undergone several adjustments, including:

  • Increased eligibility for incarcerated individuals: Previously, incarcerated individuals could not receive federal aid. Now, they can apply for and receive financial assistance for educational programming.
  • Prior-Prior Year (PPY) income information: The new FAFSA allows you to use income data from an earlier tax year - making it possible to complete and submit your application earlier.
  • Reduced number of questions: The FAFSA now requires applicants to answer fewer questions, simplifying the process.
  • Removal of questions: The application no longer includes questions about drug convictions and Selective Service registration status.

When is the new FAFSA due?

The new FAFSA deadline is June 30. However, you should complete and submit your application as soon as possible. The earlier you submit the form, the more likely you will receive aid.

Do I need to complete the FAFSA every year?

To remain eligible for financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA every school year. Because your financial status may change throughout your college journey, you must provide up-to-date information to determine your financial need.

What documents do I need to complete the FAFSA?

Several documents are required to complete your FAFSA, including:

  • Bank statements
  • Federal income tax returns
  • Records of any untaxed income
  • Social Security number
  • W-2 forms

Your parents’ or guardians’ financial information (dependent students only)

To learn more about the FAFSA application process and the materials you’ll need, explore Goodwin’s financial aid resources.

Can undocumented students or DACA recipients fill out the FAFSA?

Students who are undocumented or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are not considered eligible for federal aid. However, many colleges and universities offer other kinds of financial support to undocumented and DACA students. To be eligible, you still must complete the FAFSA.

Where can I get help with filling out the FAFSA?

Online guides, video tutorials, and University financial aid officers can assist you with your FAFSA. The Federal Student Aid website also has a chat feature and a toll-free helpline for additional help.

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