Steps for Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)



California Universities

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key that opens the door to receiving financial aid. Even if you are not sure whether or not you will need financial aid, we recommend that you fill out a FAFSA anyway.

The best way to complete the FAFSA is online. Using this method is recommended because applications are processed quickly; errors are identified right away; and online instructions are provided for each question. Applicants can even "chat" live online with a customer service representative for help.

1.Get a PIN

Before beginning the FAFSA, you should apply for a U.S. Department of Education personal identification number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. The PIN will allow you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Don't share your PIN with anyone. Once you receive your PIN you can change it to something that is easier to remember. If you are providing parent information on the FAFSA, one of your parents must also sign your application. Your parent must also apply for a PIN to sign electronically.

2.Gather the information required to apply

Your social security number and your parents' social security numbers if you are providing parent information;

Your driver's license number if you have one;

Your alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen;

Federal tax information or tax returns, including W-2 forms, for yourself, for your spouse if married, and for your parents if you are providing parent information;

Records of untaxed income, such as social security benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and veterans benefits, for yourself (and your parents if you are providing parent information); and information on savings, investments, and business and farm assets for yourself (and for your parents if you are providing parent information).

3.Complete your application through the FAFSA Transfer

If you already have an OKcollegestart.org username and password, you may use the U.S. Department of Education's online FAFSA Transfer Module to have your name, address, and other information entered automatically for you on the FAFSA on the Web. You then complete the rest of the FAFSA online with income, family size, and other information. If you prefer, you can go directly to FAFSA on the Web and bypass the Transfer Module if you want to make all the entries yourself.

4.Submit your application

After you submit your application you will receive a confirmation number showing that your application was successfully submitted. Keep this number for your records.

5.Look for your results

Your application will be processed and you will receive an e-mail with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you do not provide an e-mail address, you will receive your SAR by mail. You should review your SAR for accuracy. You can also check the status of your application by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov and select: "Check the Status of a Submitted FAFSA."