If you want to receive any financial aid from the federal government for college, including federal student loans, a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be completed. But who fills out the form? The parent? The student? The answer, actually, is not really one or the other. Rather, both the parent and the student need to complete information on the FAFSA.
The FAFSA Is in the Student’s Name
Since the financial aid is for the student, the FAFSA is in the student’s name. The student needs to create an FSA ID and password. This ID will be their access to the FAFSA throughout college. The FAFSA needs to be completed for each year for which you want to apply for financial aid. The student will use this same ID each time they log in to complete that year’s application.
While the FAFSA is in the student’s name, the parent needs to also create an FSA ID, since they will need to submit information to be included in the FAFSA as well as use that ID to approve and submit the FAFSA, along with the student.
Both the Student and the Parent Need to Supply Pertinent Information
The FAFSA requires you to submit a variety of information, financial and otherwise, related to both the student and the parent. You will need to provide social security numbers, income, tax deferred retirement contributions, investment and bank account information, any real estate owned other than primary residence, whether you own a business, and more. Our blog How to Fill Out the FAFSA Form provides great tips on what you need to have on hand to complete the application.
Note that you can simply pull information from the IRS into the FAFSA application to save time and ensure accuracy. This is done through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is accessible when you are completing the FAFSA.