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 money 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 collected our best FAFSA advice on CollegeXpress, plus links to some of our other favorite resources. Check it all out below!
CollegeXpress FAFSA help
- How to Fill Out the FAFSA, Step by Step: Turns out filling out the FAFSA is not as hard as you think!
- Do I Have to File the FAFSA? Long story short, you don't have to fill out the FAFSA, but there's really no reason not to. Our experts explain.
- Top 10 Things to Remember Before Filing the FAFSA: Make sure you and your parents do these eight things before you get ready to file the FAFSA.
- 5 Things Parents Need to Know About the FAFSA: If you or your child are applying to college, here are five essential things you need to know about the FAFSA.
- Financial Transparency: The FAFSA, Your Student, and You: This advice is for parents who might be wary about sharing financial information with their teen when filing the FAFSA.
- Important Things to Know About Your EFC: You'll see this acronym pop up when you're applying for financial aid. Here are 15 important things you should know about your Expected Family Contribution.
- 5 FAFSA Tips to Get the Most Financial Aid: Follow this advice to maximize the aid you can get when you fill out the application.
- Tackling the Financial Aid Process With Your Parents: The financial aid process is the part of the college admission process you want to include your parents in. Here's how!
- Financial Aid Terms You Need to Know: Before you start filing your FAFSA, make sure you know these important financial aid terms to avoid confusion.
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!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about scholarships, grants, loans, and other ways to pay for college in our Financial Aid section.