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The Best Advice and Resources for Filling Out the FAFSA

Looking for FAFSA help? We collected our best CollegeXpress advice and links to some of our favorite resources. Find everything you should know right here!

Make no mistake: the FAFSA is your free ticket to (potentially) free money for college and grad school. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain from spending the 30 minutes it takes to fill it out. Time is of the essence too; students who file ASAP on or after October 1 get twice as much aid on average, because those dollars are first come, first served. So what are you waiting for? Oh, you’re waiting for help? Sure thing—we've gathered our best FAFSA advice on CollegeXpress, plus links to some of our other favorite resources. Check it all out below!

Filing the FAFSA

Financial aid terms you should know about

Getting the most aid possible

Other financial aid advice

Advice just for parents

Outside FAFSA resources

  • FAFSA Help: Straight from the horse’s mouth—and by “horse,” we mean US Department of Education’s fafsa.ed.gov, aka the FAFSA's online application portal.
  • Federal Student Aid: Beyond the FAFSA application site, the Department of Education covers a ton of common FAFSA questions on their website, like what to do if your parents are divorced.
  • Getting Ready to Tackle the FAFSA: This is just one of several helpful FAFSA articles by college guru Lynn O'Shaughnessy on her College Solutions blog (also a great site for general college admission help!).
  • Asking Questions About the FAFSA: The Federal Student Aid website also has a help center that allows you to ask questions that may not be the common question you find on FAQ pages.
  • Filing the FAFSA: When it comes to college financial aid advice, it doesn’t get much better than Mark Kantrowitz and David Levy, the brains behind Edvisors. Check out their most recent Guide to Filing the FAFSA now!
  • FAFSA Deadlines and FAQs: View a list of all the major deadlines and tips to secure extra funding for your academic pursuits in this up-to-date guide to filing the FAFSA by Ascent. They also discuss the benefits of applying early. 
  • Question-by-Question FAFSA Guide: If you want a really in-depth huide to filling out the FAFSA form, this one from NitroCollege.com walks through the whole thing one question at a time. 

You'll find plenty of tips online for filing the FAFSA, but really, we find you won't need much. The Department of Education's website tackles a lot of the more complicated questions, and if your parents need more help, they're probably better off talking to a financial aid rep at your (intended) college and/or a professional financial advisor. But if you know of any killer financial aid advice or other resources we should check out, let us know by emailing feedback@collegexpress.com

Learn more about scholarships, grants, loans, and other ways to pay for college in our Financial Aid section. 

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