Completing the FAFSA


Gather Your Information – What You Need to File the FAFSA

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a breeze if you have all the necessary documents ready. We’re here to help you gather everything you need to complete the form in one go. Here’s what you’ll need: 

Essential Documents: 

  • Tax Returns: Gather your most recent federal tax returns. 
  • Records of Child Support Received: Include any child support you’ve received. 
  • Current Balances: Have the current balances of your cash, savings, and checking accounts. 
  • Net Worth of Investments: Note the net worth of any investments, businesses, and farms. 

If you’re a dependent student, your parent/guardian will need to sign up for an FSA ID (link to Create an FSA ID) to provide necessary financial info and access details about your financial aid. 

Why These Documents Matter 

These documents help determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. Accurate and up-to-date info ensures you get the correct amount of aid. 

Parents/Guardians Without an SSN 

If your parent/guardian doesn’t have a Social Security Number (SSN), don’t worry! Here’s what to do: 

  1. Create Accounts: Both you and your parent/guardian need to create accounts on 
  1. Invite Your Parent/Guardian: Once you start your FAFSA, invite your parent/guardian to contribute their info. If you’ve already started, you can still invite them. 
  1. 3. Identification Process: Your parent/guardian will go through an ID process on 

Tips for Getting Started: 

  • Create an FSA ID: Set up your FSA ID and remind your parent/guardian to create theirs. 
  • Organize Early: Gather your documents well before you plan to fill out the FAFSA. 
  • Ask for Help: If you’re unsure about what you need, ask a parent/guardian or school counselor for guidance. 

If you need more help with the FAFSA or have questions, we’re here for you! Check out our office hours (link to office hours) or visit for frequently asked questions. 

Being prepared with the right documents will make filling out the FAFSA smoother and faster. Gather everything you need before you start, and you’ll be on your way to securing financial aid for college. Congrats on taking another important step toward your college journey! 

Reporting Parent Guardian Income

Figuring out whose income to report on your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can be tricky, but we’ve got you covered! It’s important to get your FAFSA information submitted correctly because the FAFSA is your key step in securing financial aid for college. Here’s a friendly guide to help you out: 

Which Parent/Guardian’s Income Do I Report On My FAFSA? 

1. Are Your Parents Married? 

Yes: Report both parents’ incomes. If your parents filled taxes jointly, only one parent needs to submit information for both parents. If your parents filed separately, both parents must submit their information for your FAFSA form. 

No: Move to the next question. 

2. Do Your Parents Live Together But Aren’t Married? 

Yes: Report both parents’ incomes. 

No: Move to the next question. 

3. Are Your Parents Not Living Together? 

Which parent supported you more last year? 

Report that parent’s income. 

Is that parent remarried? 

Include the stepparent’s income too. 

4. Parents Separated and Both Support Equally? 

Report the parent who earns more. 

Extra Tips 

Communicate: Talk with your guardians, parent(s) and stepparent(s) to get the information you need.  

No SSN? No Problem: If your parent/guardian doesn’t have a Social Security Number (SSN), they can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Check out our guide on Gathering Your Information (link to Gathering Your Information article) to file the FAFSA. 

Need More Help? 

If you need more help with the FAFSA or have questions, we’re here for you! Check out our office hours (link to office hours) or visit for more on Reporting Parent Information

By following these steps and communicating with your family, you’ll be set to report the right income on your FAFSA and get the financial aid you need. Good luck!