- Apply early. File the FAFSA as soon as possible. Apply for a FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website.
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Transfer your tax information directly from the IRS onto your FAFSA.
- Complete forms carefully. Read all instructions before you begin. Provide all information requested. Failure to provide the required information may cause a delay in processing your financial aid request.
- Use correct social security numbers on all application materials. The social security numbers will be matched with the official names and numbers on file with the Social Security Administration. If there are discrepancies, it will delay the review of your file. If your parents’ information is required on the FAFSA, you must provide your parents’ birth dates and social security numbers on the FAFSA.
- Report savings and investments. If interest or dividend income is reported on your/your parents’ federal income tax return, enter the value of the savings/investment on the FAFSA.
- Report changes in income tax filing status. If you/your parents decide not to file a federal income tax return after you have indicated that you plan to file, notify the UI Office of Student Financial Aid in writing.
- Keep a separate financial aid file. Submit any required documents as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to photocopy the forms, correspondence, and other information you submit to the UI Office of Student Financial Aid. Record the dates you submit information and the name of any person with whom you speak.
- Reapply every year. The FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA is available October 1 for each upcoming year. Your financial aid is not renewed automatically. You must submit all required forms each year. Funds for certain programs are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Investigate Alternative Aid. Schools, public libraries, and the web are excellent sources for resources about financial aid. Many places of employment, professional associations, and labor unions have programs that help pay the cost of education for employees, members, or their children. Other sources include foundations, religious organizations, fraternities or sororities, community organizations, and civic groups.