Submitting Your FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an application process provided for free by the federal government. It is used to determine eligibility not only for federal grants and loans, but also for some state and university aid programs.

The FAFSA website has many resources to help you file the form correctly. Using the online application is significantly faster and more accurate than using the paper application.

When to file the FAFSA

File each year as soon as possible after January 1 for the upcoming aid year (fall, spring, and the following summer). If you have not completed your tax return, you may estimate on the FAFSA and make corrections later. You must reapply each year.

MSU's school code is 002290. Enter this number where indicated on the application. If you're applying to the MSU College of Law, you must use school code G02254.

Eligibility to file the FAFSA

To be eligible to file the FAFSA and qualify for federal grants and loans, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
  • be enrolled in an eligible program,
  • have a high school degree or GED,
  • be registered with Selective Service if you are male,
  • have a valid Social Security Number, and
  • not have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid

The FAFSA4caster can help you determine whether you are eligible to file the FAFSA and whether you are considered "dependent" or "independent" for financial aid purposes.

Your Department of Education PIN

To speed up the processing of your FAFSA, you (and your spouse or parents if required) may "sign" the FAFSA electronically with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) provided by the Department of Education. If you don't have a PIN or have forgotten it, you may apply for one at pin.ed.gov.