Your Quick Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA

Posted on 01/04/2021

If you’re in the process of applying to college or renewing your financial aid for the next school year, you’re probably familiar with the term “FAFSA.” FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form you fill out to determine eligibility for grants, loans, and work-study.

But how do you fill out the FAFSA? The form can be conveniently completed online! Read below to learn about what to expect and what documents you will need before you begin.

Step 1: Gather the information you’ll need

Your financial information is used to determine aid eligibility. If you are a dependent, then your parent’s information will be used. Here is a list of information or documents you might need while filling out the form:

  • Social Security number
  • Parents’ Social Security numbers (for dependent students)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Federal tax information or tax returns
  • Parents’ federal tax information or tax returns (for dependent students)
  • Records of untaxed income such as child support, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits
  • Information on cash, saving and checking account balances, investments, and other assets

To make this process even easier, you may be able to use the IRS’ Data Retrieval Tool to automatically populate tax information into your form.

Step 2: Access the form

The FAFSA form is available starting October 1 of the previous year. This means that the 2021-22 form became available on October 2020. To access it you can visit or use the myStudentAid mobile app. If you don’t have a way to access the form online, you can request a printed version by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Step 3: Fill out the form

For a preview of the questions on the form, you can read through the 2021-22 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. Once you’re ready to start, access the FAFSA form and fill out all the required information. Here are some tips to avoid common mistakes: 

  • Start early! Give yourself time to find require documents, check your numbers, and ask any questions.
  • Ensure you’re using the correct website! FAFSA is free to submit. If you’re asked to provide payment information, you’re not on the official government website.
  • Double check important fields such as Social Security numbers.
  • Use your legal name. The name listed on your FAFSA form should match that on your Social Security card.
  • Verify that your information is correct before submitting. Mistakes could cause delays or prevent you from getting aid.

For more information on what you can expect when filling out the FAFSA, please visit


WCU cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.

« Previous Post Next Post »



Want more Information about a program?

Please correct error(s) below

By clicking below, I consent to receive calls and/or text messages* by a university representative with information for educational opportunities at the number(s) provided above. I understand calls may be initiated by an automated telephone dialing system. I need not grant this consent to receive information or to be eligible to enroll with WCU. I also understand that if I no longer wish to receive text messages from WCU, I can text back "Stop" at any time to unsubscribe from the service. *Standard rates may apply.

Consumer Notice


Personal Information you submit through our Sites, such as your name, address and other contact information, may be collected by West Coast University for internal marketing and development purposes as well as to respond to your inquiry, complete a transaction for you, or fulfill other forms of customer service. You can choose not to receive marketing from us by "unsubscribing" using the instructions in any marketing email you receive from us.

Click here to learn more.

Request Information
Scroll to the top