2024-25 FAFSA Information
  • The 2024-25 FAFSA® Form is OPEN and now available for 2024 high school seniors and parents to complete. The Federal Student Aid site is still undergoing frequent updates, so be aware that issues may be encountered during the application process.

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  • FAFSA® stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The results of the FAFSA® are used to determine eligibility for student grants (Pell Grants), work study, and types and amounts of subsidized or unsubsidized student loans. A completed FAFSA® may also be required for you to receive a scholarship from your institution.  All students applying to college need to submit a FAFSA®. The State of Alabama requires all seniors to submit a FAFSA® or signed waiver prior to graduation.

    The tips below are summaries of information gathered from https://studentaid.gov/

     
    WHEN should I complete my FAFSA®?

    The FAFSA® for school year 2024-2025 (your first year of college) will be available at StudentAid.Gov in December 31, 2023. The FAFSA® should be completed as soon as after release as possible because federal aid is awarded on a "first come, first served" basis to those who qualify. Alabama does not have a set deadline by which you must submit your FAFSA®; however, the school you plan to attend may need it to determine aid awards such as scholarships or other financial assistance. The State of Alabama requires that seniors either complete the FAFSA® or complete a non-participation opt-out waiver. The waiver is available from your school counselor after the Alabama State Department of Education releases it for the current school year (usually around the same time the FAFSA opens for completion).

    What to do BEFORE completing the FAFSA®

        • Enter your personal information – Each person creating an account needs to enter full legal name, date of birth, and social security number.

        • Enter your log-in information – Create a username and password.  Passwords may not contain any form of your name, address, phone number, or Social Security number.  

        • Select challenge questions and provide answers  – Provide the answers to challenge questions using information that you will remember (don't select questions where the answer can change).

        • Verify your account – Agree to the terms and conditions. Verification codes will be sent via text to your phone (if submitted) and to your e-mail address. 

    *SAVE THIS LOGIN* – You will complete another FAFSA® every year that you attend college.  Parents, you will be required to contribute to your student's FAFSA® application each year until your student is considered independent.

    Gather documents you may need for the 2024-2025 FAFSA®

      • Tax returns from 2022 tax year (filed in 2023)

      • Records of child support received

      • Current balances of cash, savings, and checking accounts

      • Net worth of investments, businesses, and farm

    IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION

    ALL contributors on the FAFSA® must provide consent and approval for a student to be eligible for federal student aid.  With your consent and approval, Federal Student Aid can obtain your federal tax information automatically from the IRS to help you complete the FAFSA® form. If any contributor (student or parent) refuses to consent, the student will be ineligible for any type of federal student aid. 

  • HOW do I complete the FAFSA®?

    Visit STUDENTAID.GOV and log in with your FSA ID.  High school seniors applying for college next school year are seeking aid for school year 2024-2025 (the first year you will be in college).  Follow the step-by-step instructions provided online to complete your application.

    Always ensure that you use the .gov extension of the FAFSA® website.  If a website asks for a fee or charges you money to complete the FAFSA®, do not enter payment information – remember the first “F” in FAFSA® stands for FREE.

    Tips to Reduce Frustration:

    • It is recommended that students and parents take time to complete the FAFSA® together.  Because students need to invite their parents to be contributor(s) using their full name, date of birth, and social security number to link accounts, it's much more efficient to accomplish that step together.  Typically, the FAFSA® takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

    • Complete the FAFSA within 45 days of beginning the application as data is wiped from the system after that time elapses, forcing you to start over.

    Dependent students will be asked to invite at least one parent to participate in the FAFSA form as a Contributor.  Students will need to provide the full legal name, unique email address, date of birth, and social security number of each required Contributor during this step of the FAFSA® form.

    Getting HELP with the FAFSA®

      • If you have questions as you progress through the application, contact Federal Student Aid for assistance. Help by phone is available at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) Monday-Friday from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm central time. You can also email or start a live chat on the website for assistance during your application.  Most issues you have with the FAFSA® will only be able to be answered by Federal Student Aid.

      • Your college(s)' Financial Aid Office staff are also available to assist you with the FAFSA®.

      • You can also contact Alabama Possible at 334-316-6155 (call or text) or email algoestocollege@alabamapossible.org.

      • Your counselor(s) and career coach will also gladly work with you to complete your application.

    What Happens AFTER Completing the FAFSA®

    Review your account after you reach the submission screen, and make sure all the information is complete and accurate. If you have missing or incorrect information, complete or correct your FAFSA® as soon as possible.  

    Your form should be processed in 1–3 days. Once your application is processed, you will be able to view your FAFSA® Submission Summary. It will include the Student Aid Index (SAI), a number used to determine federal student aid eligibility.

    The summary does not tell you how much aid you will receive from your chosen school(s) - each college you listed is responsible for creating your award package and disbursing your financial aid. Colleges where you sent your FAFSA® will use your SAI to create your financial aid offer that explains the types and amounts of aid they are offering you. Most schools will wait to send you an aid offer only after they accept you for admission.

    You can compare information from each college to determine which choice may be the best financial option for you based on these awards. You should contact the financial aid office at the college(s) you plan to attend to find out if there are additional requirements for receiving financial aid and to learn more about the process of applying for aid at that college. Make sure you follow through on any necessary steps to receive your financial aid package by staying in contact with your financial aid office at your college.

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