Documents You’ll Need to Complete the FAFSA

  • Your Social Security card. It is important that you enter your Social Security Number (SSN) correctly!
  • Your parent’s/parents’ or guardian’s/guardians’ Social Security card(s).
  • Your driver’s license or state-issued ID card (if any).
  • Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) if requested in advance from pin.ed.gov. You may also create a Student PIN while you fill out your FAFSA, so it is not necessary to request one in advance.
  • Your Parent Personal Identification Number (PIN) if requested in advance from pin.ed.gov. You may also create a Parent PIN while you fill out your FAFSA, so it is not necessary to request one in advance. It is highly recommended that you make your Student PIN and your Parent PIN the same, since they will be easier to remember and you will need them to reapply for financial aid in the future.
  • Your last paystub(s) from 2011 (if any).
  • Your parent’s/parents’ or guardian’s/guardians’ last paystub(s) from 2011 (if any).
  • Your 2011 W-2 form(s) (if any). These are typically issued by your employer(s) by the end of the month of January. If you have not received your 2011 W-2 form(s) yet and your earnings have not changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, you may use your 2010 W-2 form(s). If your income has changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, then you may want to approximate your earnings from 2011 using your paystubs and file a correction later once you have received your 2011 W-2 form(s).
  • Your parent’s/parents’ or guardian’s/guardians’ 2011 W-2 form(s) (if any). These are typically issued by their employer(s) by the end of the month of January. If they have not received their 2011 W-2 form(s) yet and their earnings have not changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, you may use their 2010 W-2 form(s). If their income has changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, then you may want to approximate their earnings from 2011 using their paystubs and file a correction later once they have received their 2011 W-2 form(s).
  • Your 2011 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are required to file taxes). If you are required to or plan to file taxes, but have not yet filed your 2011 taxes, you may use your 2010 Federal Income Tax Return so long as your earnings have not changed considerably between 2010 and 2011. If your income has changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, then you may want to approximate your earnings from 2011 using your paystubs and file a correction later once you have filed your 2011 Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Your Parent’s/Parents’ or Guardian’s/Guardians’ 2011 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student, meaning your parent/parents or guardian/guardians claim you as a dependent, and your parent/parents or guardian/guardians is/are required to file taxes). If your parent/parents or guardian/guardians have not yet filed their 2011 taxes, you may use their 2010 Federal Income Tax Return(s) so long as their earnings have not changed considerably between 2010 and 2011. If their income has changed considerably between 2010 and 2011, then you may want to approximate their earnings from 2011 using their paystubs and file a correction once they have filed their 2011 Federal Income Tax Return(s).
  • Social Security Income statements (if any).
  • Unemployment Compensation statements (if any). You should receive a Form 1099-G showing the total unemployment compensation paid to you.
  • Documentation of all non-taxable income (if any):
    • Child Support statements (if any).
    • Welfare Benefits statements (if any).
    • Food Stamps statements (if any).
    • Worker’s Compensation Benefits statements (if any).
    • Veteran’s Benefits statements (if any).
  • Your current bank statements (if any).
  • Your and/or your parent’s/parents’ or guardian’s/guardians’ current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, and stock, bond and other investment records (if any).
  • Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen). You cannot apply for federal financial aid if you are not a U.S. citizen AND do not have a current alien registration or permanent resident card.
  • Records relating to any unusual family financial circumstances, such as medical and dental expenses not covered by health insurance, tuition expenses at elementary or secondary schools, unusually high child care costs, death, divorce, and loss of employment (if any).
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