If you are attending college during the summer term, contact your financial aid office to determine which FAFSA to complete.
Use your legal name Ė the one that appears on your Social Security card. Make sure the name is in the correct order: Last, First, Middle Initial. If you donít have a Middle Initial, leave it blank.
Student's Mailing Address:
The address is a permanent home mailing address, normally the one you or your parent(s) put on their taxes.
Student 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.
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.
Student Telephone Number:
Enter your permanent telephone number where you can be contacted. It is acceptable to list a cell phone number.
Student 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.
Student Email Address:
If you enter your email address the Department of Education will be able to send your FAFSA results through a secure emailed 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. This email will also be available to the colleges you list on the FAFSA.
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.
Student Citizenship Status:
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, Permanent Resident Card (I-551 or I-151 - also known as a Green card)
- A conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
- A noncitizen with an Arrival-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), "Victim of human trafficking", T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc) 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 college financial aid office for information on how to proceed.
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.
Student 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.
Date of Marital Event: Date married, divorced, separated, or widowed
The STUDENT should enter the month and year they were married, divorced, separated, or widowed. This will be the date of the most recent marital event. 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.
Student's State of Legal Residence: 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.
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, 2006 or "No" if you became a resident of your state on or after January 1, 2006.
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, 2006, provide the month and year you became a legal resident of your state.For example, if your date of legal residency is May 1, 2008 you would enter 052008.
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 "Register me" the Department of Education will automatically enroll you. You can also register on the Web at: www.sss.gov.
If you believe that you are not required to register or failed to register between ages 18-25, call the Selective Service office at: 1-847-688-6888 for information regarding exemptions.
Female students should leave Question 22 blank and skip to Question 23.
Drug Convictions: Possession or Sale of Illegal Drugs
Question 23 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 23 blank. You will not be able to receive aid until you have provided an answer to this question.
Parent Educational Level:
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. Marking college or beyond indicates that your parent has acheived a bachelor's degree or higher level of education so if your parent has achieved an associate's degree you will want to mark high school as the highest level of education completed.
High School Completion Status: 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 2011-2012 school year, indicate the appropriate option for this question. If you do not have a high school diploma, GED, or home school credential indicate none of the above and contact your college for information regarding alternative admissions criteria.
Choose from the following:
- High school diploma
- General Educational Development (GED) certificate
- Home schooled
- None of the above
High School Attended:
Indicate the High School name, city and state from which you received your high school diploma. If you earned a GED or were homeschooled you may skip this question.
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, 2011) 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.
Student Grade Level in College:
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 never attended college and 1st year undergraduate.
Choose from the following:
- Never attended college & 1st year undergraduate (high school seniors and/or first-time students should choose this grade level)
- Attended college before/1st- year undergraduate
- 2nd -year undergraduate/sophomore
- 3rd -year undergraduate/junior
- 4th -year undergraduate/senior
- 5th -year/other undergraduate
- 1st-year graduate/professional
- Continuing graduate/professional or beyond
Student's Anticipated Degree : Degree or Certificate Definitions
Indicate the option for the expected degree or certificate you will be working on during the 2011-2012 school year. 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 Associate Degree (general education or transfer program).
Choose from the following:
- 1st bachelor's degree
- 2nd bachelor's degree
- Associate degree (occupational or technical program)
- Associate degree (general education or transfer program)
- Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or educational program of less than two years
- Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or educational program of at least two years
- Teaching credential program (nondegree program)
- Graduate or professional degree
Interest in Work Study:
This question asks you to indicate your interest in a work study position. Work study is based upon financial need and allows you to earn money while attending college. You get paid for the hours worked and the earnings will not affect future financial aid eligibility. Note: Requesting a work-study position 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 31. If you are unsure how to answer this question we suggest you answer yes and you may decline the option at a future time