While paper FAFSA applications are still available, it is strongly advised that students and their parents or guardians do an online FAFSA. Once a student completes a FAFSA online worksheet, it is very easy to transfer the information to an online FAFSA.

The following steps are necessary to complete and online FAFSA:

  1. A student must have an email address (gmail, yahoo and hotmail, among others, offer free email accounts).
  2. Students and one parent must get a FSA ID HERE (2 separate FSA ID’s).
  3. **Before starting an online application, download an application worksheet.
  4. The online application is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. This is the ONLY official website that students should go to. Beware of any other website/application that requires a fee.
  5. Information requested on the FAFSA comes from the parent’ and students’ latest income tax returns (this year’s income tax return). Without a parent income tax return, the financial aid process becomes very difficult.
  6. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.
  7. Many of our students have living arrangements that do not seem to fit in with what the questions on the FAFSA are asking, for example. “I live with my aunt or brother, whose income should I use?” For these types of questions and any other trickier ones, refer to the cuny.edu website. This is one of the most valuable websites dealing with Financial Aid and is sensibly written.
  8. Students also have to submit a TAP application in order to be eligible for additional New York State financial aid awards. After they complete an online FAFSA, they will be linked to the TAP application to complete additional information.
  9. The FAFSA application allows the student to put 10 schools where they want their information sent using the Federal/FAFSA Codes. The TAP application also requires the student to use the New York State/TAP Codes.
  10. The application must be signed and submitted to be processed.
  11. After the FAFSA is processed, a student should receive a SAR (Student Aid Report). This will be the information that will be sent to the colleges. Check for mistakes!!! For more information regarding the Student Aid Report, click HERE.
  12. Changes can be made electronically using the student’s PIN #.
  13. If the student has more than 10 college choices, Click Login on the home page and log in to FAFSA on the Web. You will be given the option to Make FAFSA Corrections. Remove some of the colleges listed on your FAFSA, add the additional school codes, and submit the corrections for processing.


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