Completing Your FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a free application provided by the federal government. It is used to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid such as grants and loans.

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

When to complete the FAFSA

Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible each year. You must reapply each year. Refer to the chart below for the earliest possible application date:

School Year FAFSA Available On Tax Year Information To Use
Fall 2016 through Summer 2017 January 1, 2016 2015
Fall 2017 through Summer 2018 October 1, 2016 2015
Fall 2018 through Summer 2019 October 1, 2017 2016
Fall 2019 through Summer 2020 October 1, 2018 2017

MSU's school code is 002290. The FAFSA will ask you for this code. If you're applying to the MSU College of Law, you must use school code G02254.

Eligibility to complete the FAFSA

To be eligible to complete 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.