Anyone seeking educational financial aid from the federal Department of Education must fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It becomes available each year in January and can be submitted online by going to

This form is critical for not only your federal aid request, but for those offered by your state and school, as they also use the FAFSA form for information they need to see if you qualify.

Therefore, it is very important that you find out their deadlines for filing, so that you are not too late and miss out. For federal programs, the deadline is June 30.

All sorts of information is needed to fill out this form, including income information for you and your parents. Get more detailed information hereIncome information can also be pulled electronically from your filed tax returns as part of the online process of filling out the form.

If you (or your parents) have not yet filed your tax return, you can use estimated income figures and then amend the FAFSA later with actual numbers once the return is filed.

More Information

If you are looking for more information about federal financial aid for college, then download my free book, Applying for Federal Financial Aid: The Definitive Guide for Students and Parents.

For more information about what happens after you graduate, get my free book, I Graduated; Now What? A Guide to Dealing with Your Student Loans.

You can also access the latest news on student loans, get answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and read articles in my Library. Continue to educate yourself as you go through the process of making smart decisions about college financing!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.