Bypass navigation bar Search Home

Sign In

FAFSA Overview

 

Have questions about filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? We have answers, plus tips designed to save you time and stress.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is an application used to collect information to determine your eligibility for financial aid awards.

What information will be collected?

The FAFSA has four main sections of required information:

  1. General student information (such as your name, date of birth, etc.)
  2. Dependency status (Dependent or Independent)
  3. Information about your parent (if applicable)
  4. Information about you, the student (and spouse if applicable)

Additional information collected includes the college you attend and your housing plans.

Your signature is required (as is your parent’s if you are dependent). Your signature for the online FAFSA is a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). Get your PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.

When can you file your FAFSA?

  • You can start filing your FAFSA beginning January 1.
  • You have to fill out a FAFSA every year.
  • Be sure to meet the deadlines.

How do you file your FAFSA (apply for financial aid)?

  • Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The website will help you understand what documents you need to get started.
  • Don’t have a computer? Visit the Financial Aid Office.
  • When you complete your FAFSA, print the confirmation page and/or have it emailed to you.

Need help?

  • Contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.
  • Are you hearing impaired? Contact the TTY line at 800-730-8913.

Why should you file online?

  • The colleges of DCCCD do not accept paper FAFSAs.
  • You can choose the option of using Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval. It includes built-in tools to prevent errors and in-depth instructions for common questions.
  • The online FAFSA has “skip logic” that lets you skip questions you don’t need to answer.
  • You will be able to check your application status online.
  • It is a simpler application process.

What are the Federal School Codes for the colleges of DCCCD?

Special Notes About Email Addresses

  • Make sure you have an email address listed on your FAFSA (and one for your parent too, if applicable).
  • If your spouse, sibling or parent also attends the colleges of DCCCD, each person’s email address must be different.

Facts About Tax Information (IRS Data Retrieval)

While you are online filling out your FAFSA, you can choose to use the new IRS Data Retrieval feature. We encourage you to use this process in order to simplify the Verification process.

  • Using this process can reduce errors and documents requested by the Financial Aid Office.
  • When you submit the request, the IRS will confirm your identity.
  • If your tax record is found, the IRS sends real-time results to you in a new browser window.
  • You then can choose whether or not to transfer your information to FAFSA on the Web (FOTW).

How do you and/or the school get your FAFSA information?

  • By email: If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will send you an email with a link. You can click on this link to see your FAFSA (called the Student Aid Report [SAR]).
  • By paper/mail: If you did not provide an email address on your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will send a copy of your FAFSA (called the Student Aid Report [SAR]) to the mailing address you listed on the FAFSA.
  • Your FAFSA is also sent to the colleges you listed when you filled out the FAFSA. This takes about 10 to 14 days after your FAFSA is submitted. When the school gets your FAFSA, it is called the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).
  • We cannot receive your FAFSA unless your college admission application has been accepted with your Social Security number.

If you are selected for Verification, you must complete the Verification process. If you do not finish the Verification process, we cannot calculate your financial aid eligibility. Get more information on our Verification page.

Important Items to Review

  • Don’t apply late! Be sure to meet the deadlines.
  • Report your name and Social Security number (SSN) exactly as they appear on your Social Security card.
  • If your parent does not have a SSN, he or she should report all zeros.
  • Make sure dates of birth are correct.
  • Ask your parents for the exact date when a divorce or remarriage took place.
  • Review all income information.
  • Review household size and number of members attending college.
  • Answer questions 29 and 30 correctly.
  • Select correctly: Male or Female.

FAFSA Overview