The FAFSA for the 2023-2024 school year is open
You can file now!
What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form completed by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. This form was created to guide students and parents through the application process.
How do I apply?
Please take the time to read and follow the instructions provided to get your FAFSA completed as soon as possible and avoid the sting!
- Visit studentaid.gov and click “create account” if you are a new user or “log in” if you completed a form previously.
- Once logged in, under “apply for aid” you want to select “complete the FAFSA form.”
- Here you will begin to enter the information of the student and parent (if dependent). Please remember to use the IRS Data Retrieval, if applicable, to import income information from the IRS.
- Always remember to include the school code to ensure your FAFSA is sent to Delaware State University. Delaware State University school code: 001428
- Use your 2021 tax information to complete your ’23-’24 FAFSA.
What are the pros and cons?
You’re more likely to qualify for federal, state, and college-offered grants if you file the FAFSA early. In fact, Saving for College reported that students who fill out the FAFSA between October and December get twice as many grants, on average, as compared with students who file the FAFSA later. If you don’t complete the FAFSA form, you could lose out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for college.
- You’re More Likely to Qualify for Grants
You’re more likely to qualify for federal, state, and college-offered grants if you file the FAFSA early. In fact, Saving for College reported that students who fill out the FAFSA between October and December get twice as many grants, on average, as compared with students who file the FAFSA later.
- Get a Head Start on Your Scholarship Search
Some scholarships offered by companies or organizations will request your FAFSA information, and they often have early deadlines. Completing the FAFSA early will help you as you begin searching for and applying for scholarships, reducing how much you need to take out in student loans.
- Pursue Other Financial Aid with More Time
Once you complete the FAFSA and start receiving financial aid award letters, you can come up with a comprehensive plan to pay for college. Your award letter may include a mix of scholarships, grants, and federal student loans. However, there is a chance that the awards may not be enough to cover the total cost of your attendance, including room and board or textbooks. If that’s the case, you’ll have to look into additional financing options, such as outside scholarships or private student loans
- Not Completing the FAFSA Form
We hear all kinds of reasons: “The FAFSA form is too hard.” “It takes too long to complete.” “I’ll never qualify anyway, so why does it matter?” It does matter. For one, contrary to popular belief, there is no income “cut-off” when it comes to federal student aid. If you don’t complete the FAFSA form, you could lose out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for college.
- Not Using Your FSA ID to Start the FAFSA Form
When you begin your FAFSA form, you will be asked to identify yourself as one of these: 1) I am the student 2) I am a parent, preparer, or student from a Freely Associated State.
If you’re the student, you should choose the first option. Why? When you do, some of your personal information (name, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.) will be automatically loaded into your application. This will prevent you from running into a common error that occurs when your verified FSA ID information doesn’t match the information on your FAFSA form. Also, you won’t have to enter your FSA ID again to transfer your information from the IRS or to sign your FAFSA form electronically.
- Not Signing the FAFSA Form
So many students answer every single question that is asked but fail to actually sign the FAFSA form with their FSA ID and submit it. This happens for many reasons—maybe you forgot your FSA ID or your parent isn’t with you to sign with the parent FSA ID—so your application is left incomplete. Don’t let this happen to you.
- If you don’t know your FSA ID, select “Forgot username” and/or “Forgot password.”
- If you don’t have an FSA ID, create one
If you’re not able to sign with your FSA ID, there’s an option to mail a signature page. If you would like confirmation that your FAFSA form has been submitted, you can check your status immediately after you submit your FAFSA form online.