To be considered for federal financial aid for the 2023-24 academic year, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This new form will be released on Saturday, Oct. 1, and you can find it at StudentAid.gov.
The FAFSA serves as your application for federal and some state financial aid to help you pay for college expenses. The FAFSA will require you to provide your 2021 federal income tax information, and if you’re considered a dependent student on the 2023-24 FAFSA your parents will also be required to provide their 2021 federal income tax information.
Don’t know if you’ll be considered a dependent student or not? Read the criteria below:
1. Will you be 24 or older by Jan. 1 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid? For example, if you plan to start school in Aug. 2023 for the 2023-24 school year, will you be 24 by Jan. 1 2023 (i.e., were you born before Jan. 1, 2000)?
2. Are you married or separated, but not divorced?
3. Will you be working toward a Master’s or doctorate degree (such as M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.)?
4. Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
5. Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?
6. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
7. Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
8. At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
9. Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal guardianship as determined by a court?
10. Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you answer ‘no’ to every question above, you may be considered a dependent student and may be required to provide parental information on your FAFSA.
You can speed up your FAFSA completion process if you have the 2021 income tax information readily available. You also have the option of transferring your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA application. This is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or IRS DRT. Student and parents who submitted their federal income tax forms online may be eligible to use this feature. Learn more about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov.
FAFSA filing day is this Saturday! Don’t delay completing this important form to determine how much financial aid you may qualify for to help with college expenses.