Students who wish to receive financial aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A new FAFSA must be completed for each academic year. The quickest, most accurate way to file the FAFSA is through FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Online filing cuts the initial processing time by up to half, and also provides checks to prevent common errors. Although the online version generally has quicker processing times and reduces the occurrence of some common errors, a paper version of the FAFSA may be obtained by calling FAFSA at 1-800-433-3243.
Students should submit the FAFSA by March 1 to receive maximum aid consideration for the upcoming school year. This date is consistent with the deadline for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and helps to ensure that financial aid is ready by the time fall tuition is due. If additional documents, such as income tax returns or worksheets, are requested by the Financial Aid Office, they should be submitted by April 15.
Remember, the FAFSA is a free application! There are many look-alike websites offering to help you complete your form for a fee. Be sure to go to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid site to file your FAFSA. If you have questions about filing the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office or the Department of Education will be happy to assist you at no cost.
Filing the FAFSA Online
Step 1: Obtain a FSA ID (Replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN)
An electronic user name and password, FSA ID, used by students, parents and borrowers has replaced the Federal Student Aid Pin. An information guide on how to create a FSA ID can be found here or view a brief video at getcollegefunding.org. FSA ID frequently asked questions and responses can be found here.
Step 2: Complete the FAFSA
Once you are ready to file, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to access the FAFSA on the Web. Specific instructions and technical information on how to navigate through FAFSA on the Web are provided at this site.You will need to sign your FAFSA by either providing a FSA ID (and a parent FSA ID if your parent’s information was reported) or printing and mailing a signature page to the processor. Be sure to submit the FAFSA once it is completed. You will be given a confirmation number once the form is submitted.
You can check the status of your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once the Department of Education has processed your information, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from them, which summarizes the information your provided on your FAFSA. Review your SAR and make sure all of the information is complete and accurate. If there is any missing or incorrect information, then you should complete or correct your FAFSA as soon as possible. The processor will also send an electronic copy of your FAFSA information to each of the schools you list on the FAFSA.