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). The FAFSA is available online at and may be completed beginning on Oct. 1 before the award year for which you're applying. For example, the FAFSA for the 2023-24 award year may be completed beginning Oct. 1, 2022.
  • 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)