Tips for Completing Your FAFSA

Complete your FAFSA correctly by following these tips and your aid will be processed faster.

  • Always apply as soon as possible by using the online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 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
  • Apply every year that you wish to receive aid.
  • Read the directions carefully. Don't skip items you don't understand. For help, call 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243), or consult your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office.
  • Verify that the student's and parent's social security numbers are correct. Typing an incorrect social security number will cause significant delays.
  • Dependent students must report parent information on the FAFSA. Do not report a grandparent or other relative's information even if you are living with and/or being supported by that person.
  • For Michigan Competitive Scholarship consideration, your FAFSA must be completed by March 1st each year.
  • If your family has any of the following savings accounts, see our page on Education Savings Plans for information on how to report them correctly on the FAFSA:
    • 529 Savings Plans
      • Michigan Education Trust (MET)
      • Michigan Education Savings Plan (MESP)
    • Coverdell Education Savings Account (formerly Education IRA)
    • Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA)