Counselor's Corner

Scholarship Information

College Prep

FAFSA Questions and Answers

1. What does FAFSA stand for?

FREE application for federal student aid.

2. When should I apply?

As soon as you can after January 1st.

3. How do I apply?

Go to the website:, and complete the application online, or download a pdf version and mail it in, or request a paper FAFSA at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243 or 319-337-5665).

4. Do I have to pay to submit my FAFSA?

No. It is free.

5. How long will it take to complete the application and what documents will I need?

The department of education claims that the FAFSA paperwork can be completed in less than an hour. This is true only if you have all of the necessary documents at hand. Many parents and students find this part of the college application frustrating, but a little planning can help make filling out the form go smoothly. Here's what you'll need:

  • Your most recent income tax return (or your parents' return if you are a dependent)
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current investment records (if any)
  • Records of any untaxed income you may have received
  • Your Driver's License (if you have one)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen: your alien registration or permanent resident card

6. Can I apply for my PIN before January 1st?

Yes. Go to Be careful to save your PIN in a secure location.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid - Begin submitting applications January 1

Most colleges and post-secondary programs require a FAFSA to be submitted. Priority consideration is given to forms filed before January 31. You will need a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to electronically apply for federal student aid. Get your PIN now at the FAFSA PIN web site

FAFSA Friday Webinars are available to help you complete your FAFSA. To register, email All webinar materials and resource information is available at: Friday webinar dates include Fridays from January  to June. Check the website to verify event time.

Other Sources of Aid for College