The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, can help students pay for college. It is required each year.
Most students use some form of financial aid to help pay for college. You can start the financial aid process by applying now if you plan to attend NDSU next fall. The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The FAFSA is very important because it opens access to many types of financial aid. It determines your eligibility for federal aid, which includes federal grants, loans and work study. The North Dakota State Grant, private loans, need-based scholarships and some private financial aid providers use the FAFSA to determine eligibility.
It is helpful to complete the FAFSA early. Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so starting now maximizes your opportunity. Feb. 1, 2022, is the priority deadline to apply for several financial aid programs, including the North Dakota State Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal SEOG Grant and need-based scholarships.
Tips for a smooth application process
Filling out the FAFSA is not hard, but it requires information you may not know off the top of your head. Here are tips to help you prepare:
1. Review FAFSA resources. NDSU’s FAFSA resources page explains the steps and terminology. Accuracy and completeness matter, so it is helpful to understand what you will be asked in advance.
2. Gather all your information before you start. You will need your FSA ID, social security number, driver’s license number, tax information, financial records and a list of colleges you’re considering. NDSU’s FAFSA school code is 002997.
3. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This allows you to upload student and parent tax information to the FAFSA. “The use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool saves a student and their family time and effort,” said Matt Sanchez, director of financial aid and scholarships at NDSU. “Students who use this tool are, many times, able to expedite their financial aid application.”
4. Check for accuracy and completeness. Errors and missing information delay the process, so review your application carefully before submitting.
Complete your FAFSA
The FAFSA for the 2022-2023 academic year is available now. NDSU financial aid award notices will be available in March.
“Completion of the FAFSA is required each year. If you are planning to return to NDSU next fall, you should complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA soon after Oct. 1, 2021” Sanchez said. “There is definitely a benefit to applying early as students can complete all of the necessary steps in a timely manner and minimize any delays in funding.”
NDSU recognizes the information reported on your FAFSA may not reflect your current financial situation or ability to pay for educational expenses. If you or your family has experienced a significant change in your financial situation, please review our Special Circumstances website or reach out directly to the financial aid and scholarships department.