If you are attending college during the summer term, contact your financial aid office to determine which FAFSA to complete.
Questions 1-3: Your Name
Use your legal name – the one that appears on your Social Security card. Make sure the name is in the correct order: Last, First, Middle Initial. If you don’t have a Middle Initial, leave it blank.
Questions 4-7: Your permanent mailing address
The address is a permanent home mailing address, normally the one you or your parent(s) put on their taxes. Students, it is best to use a parent's mailing address every year that you are in college.
Question 8: Your Social Security Number
Double check your Social Security Number (SSN) for accuracy. You must have a valid SSN to be eligible to receive federal aid.
Question 9: Your date of birth
Do not use dashes to separate month, day and year on either the Web or paper applications.
For example, if you were born on December 1, 1980, you would enter 12011980.
Question 10: Your permanent telephone number
Enter your permanent telephone number where you can be contacted. It is best to list a parent's permanent phone number or cell phone number.
Questions 11-12: Your driver's license
List your license number and state in which it was issued. If you do not have a license, list a state ID number or leave blank.
Question 13: Your email address
If you enter your e-mail address the Department of Education will be able to send your FAFSA results through a secure e-mailed link. If you do not receive confirmation within 3-5 days, the email may have gone into your junk folder. You will need to retrieve it from there.
It is recommended that you put these addresses into your e-mail address book to avoid delays: FederalStudentAidPIN@cpsemail.gov and FederalStudentAidFAFSA@cpsemail.ed.gov.
By leaving the email blank, you will receive your Student Aid Report by mail; this can take up to four weeks.
Question 14: Citizenship
You can receive federal student financial aid only if you are a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen. If you have changed from a noncitizen to a citizen and have not informed the Social Security Administration (SSA), contact the SSA to update your status. Otherwise, the SSA may report that you are not a citizen, and you will have to provide citizenship documentation before receiving aid.
- U.S. permanent resident who has an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551 or I-151 - also known as a Green card)
- A conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
- A noncitizen with a Departure record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (specifically, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Parole" (I-94 confirms 'paroled for a minimum of 1-year status' has not expired), or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant"
- An F-1, F-2, or M-1 student visa
- A J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor visa
- A B-1 or B-2 visitor visa
- A G series visa (pertaining to international organizations )
- An H series or L series visa (allowing temporary employment in the U.S.)
- A "Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence" (I-171 or I-464)
- An I-94 stamped "Temporary Protected Status"
However, you may be eligible for state or institutional aid and may therefore wish to complete the FAFSA to apply for that aid. If you are completing a paper FAFSA, fill in oval C. On FAFSA on the Web, indicate that you are not a citizen by using the drop down menu. Please note, however, that if you do not have a Social Security number, the processor will not process your FAFSA. If you are in this situation, you should contact your school for information on how to proceed.
Question 15: Alien Registration Number
If you are an eligible noncitizen, enter your eight- or nine-digit Alien Registration Number. If you have an eight-digit Alien Registration Number place a 0 (zero) in the first space followed by the eight-digit number.
If you answer "yes" to the question asking whether you are a U.S. citizen you may leave this question blank.
Question 16: Marital Status
This question wants to know the marital status of the STUDENT filling out the form. You must report your marital status as of the date the application is completed. An applicant cannot update FAFSA information for changes in marital status after the application is filed.
Question 17: Date married, divorced, separated, or widowed
The STUDENT should enter the date they were married, divorced, separated, or widowed. If none of these apply, leave this question blank.
For example, if your were married, divorced, separated or widowed on May 1, 1980 you would enter 051980.
Question 18: Legal Residence
If you are a dependent student, the state of legal residence is usually the state in which your parents live. If you moved from your family's state of residence into a state for the sole purpose of attending a college, do not count that state as your legal residence.
Question 19: Legal Residence
States have varying criteria for determining whether you are a resident for purposes of state financial aid. However, if you established a true, fixed, and permanent home in any state more than four years ago, you will meet its residency criteria. Select "Yes" if you became a resident of your state before January 1, 2003 or "No" if you became a resident of your state on or after January 1, 2003.
Question 20: Month/Year of Legal Residency
Your state will use this information to determine whether you meet its specific residency criteria for state aid. If you answered "No" to the question asking if you became a legal resident of your state before January 1, 2003, provide the month and year you became a legal resident of your state.
For example, if your date of legal residency is May 1, 2005 you would enter 052005.
Question 21-22: Selective Service
To receive federal student financial aid, male students (US citizens and permanent resident aliens) who are 18 through 25 years old and born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service. If you mark "Yes" the Department of Education will automatically enroll you before your 18th birthday. You can also register on the Web at: www.sss.gov.
If you believe that you are not required to register, call the Selective Service office at: 1-847-688-6888 for information regarding exemptions.
Female students should leave Question 22 blank.
Question 23: Degree or Certificate Definitions
Indicate the one-digit code for the expected degree or certificate you will be working on during the 2008-2009 school year, using the "Degree/Certificate Code List" below. If your degree or certificate does not fit any of these categories, or if you are undecided, enter "9." This should be the first degree you are receiving. For example, if you plan to attend a community college before transferring to a four year school you would mark code 4.
Choose from the following:
|1||1st bachelor's degree|
|2||2nd bachelor's degree|
|3||Associate degree (occupational or technical program)|
|4||Associate degree (general education or transfer program)|
|5||Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or educational program of less than two years|
|6||Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or educational program of at least two years|
|7||Teaching credential program (nondegree program)|
|8||Graduate or professional degree|
Question 24: Grade Level
Grade level does not mean the number of years you have attended college, but grade level in regard to completing your degree/certificate. (For example, if you are enrolled less than full time, it will take longer to reach the same grade level than a full-time student.) A high school senior who has been taking college classes and will be graduating from high school with college credits will answer code 0.
Choose from the following:
|0||Never attended college & 1st year undergraduate (high school seniors and/or first-time students should choose this grade level)|
|1||Attended college before/1st- year undergraduate|
|2||2nd -year undergraduate/sophomore|
|3||3rd -year undergraduate/junior|
|4||4th -year undergraduate/senior|
|5||5th -year/other undergraduate|
|7||Continuing graduate/professional or beyond|
Question 25: Enrollment Status
Indicate your enrollment status. Enrollment status is the number of credit hours you will be taking per term. Each course you sign up for will be assigned a number of credit hours, ranging from .25 on up to 4.5 or more.
Choose from the following:
|1||Full-time:12 hours per term|
|2||¾ time:9 hours per term|
|3||½ time:6 hours per term|
|4||Less than ½ time:5 hours and under*|
* (You should know that at less than ½ time status you do NOT qualify for federal student loan programs.)
If you attend two different colleges during the same enrollment period, you must notify the financial aid administrators (FAAs) at both schools. If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you will receive it from the college in which you are degree seeking.
Question 26: Types of Financial Aid Available
This question asks you to indicate what types of aid, in addition to grants, you are interested in receiving. Note: answering "Yes" or "No" to these questions will not affect your eligibility to receive a grant. The FAFSA automatically assumes that you are interested in grant aid regardless of your answer to question 26.
Federal, state, and institutional programs may use the information from the FAFSA questions to determine what types of aid to award. If you are not sure, you should choose to receive both work-study and student loans. You will then be considered for all types of aid that are available, and you can decline any aid that is later awarded. If your parents wish to take out loans for your education, answer "Yes" to "student loans." We strongly recommend marking number 3.
Choose from the following:
|1||For "work-study" (student aid that you earn through work)|
|2||for student loans (which you must pay back)|
|3||For both work-study and student loans|
Question 27: High School Diploma, GED, or Bachelor's Degree
If you will receive your high school diploma or earn a General Education Development (GED) certificate or equivalent home school credential before you enroll in college for the 2008-2009 school year, answer the appropriate code for this question. If you do not have a high school diploma, GED, or home school credential contact your college for information regarding alternative admissions criteria
Choose from the following:
|1||High School diploma|
|2||General Education Development (GED) certificate|
Question 28: First Bachelor's Degree
This question has a direct bearing on your eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which are restricted to students who have not yet received bachelor's degrees. The only exception is that certain students who already have a bachelor's degree and are now taking courses for teacher certification may receive a Pell Grant. You must answer "Yes" to this question if you have (or will have by July 1, 2008) a degree from a college in the U.S., or an equivalent degree from a college in another country. If you incorrectly answer, "Yes" to this question, you will be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant unless a correction is made.
Questions 29-30: Parent's Level of Education
These questions do not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. Some state and institutional programs use the information provided here to offer aid to first-generation college students.
Enter the highest grade level completed by your father and mother. "Father" and "mother" in these questions mean your birth parents or adoptive parents, but not stepparents or foster parents. If you don't know the answer, select or fill in "Other/unknown." Note that this definition of parents is unique to these two questions.
Question 31: Possession or Sale of Illegal Drugs
Question 31 asks whether you have been convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study). If you have been convicted, you are not necessarily ineligible for aid. If you complete a paper application and answer "Yes" to this question, you will receive a worksheet in the mail. You can use this worksheet to determine whether the conviction affects your eligibility for federal student aid. If you file on the Web and answer "Yes" to this question, you will be prompted to complete a worksheet on the Web site and will be able to complete the entire process online.
If you have a conviction, you should still complete and submit the FAFSA. You might still be eligible for state or institutional aid. Many states and schools use the data supplied by the FAFSA to determine students' eligibility for aid from those non-federal entities.
Do not leave Question 31 blank. You will not be able to receive aid until you have provided an answer to this question.