Financial Aid Application (FAFSA)
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a free application provided by the federal government to help students pay for college.
All US citizens and certain eligible non-citizens (such as permanent residents) can apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. This must be done each year and the FAFSA is a free service. You should never pay to fill out a FAFSA. The FAFSA application requires a federal school code or for you to select what school(s) you want your application to be sent. The UTSA federal school code is 010115.
Find out all the details about how to complete your FAFSA at Filling Out the FAFSA.
Understanding your FAFSA Student Aid Report
When you complete your FAFSA you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). You’ll probably have questions about what it means and what is next, so visit Next Steps to learn more.
Top 10 Helpful Tips When Filing a FAFSA
Create an FSA ID
Use your Legal Name. You must use your legal name (look to your Social Security Card) on the FAFSA rather than nicknames.
Know your Parents Social Security Number and Birthday.
One of the most common mistakes on the FAFSA is when the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for the parents are not included. Leaving this information blank will cause the FAFSA to be rejected. If parents do not have a Social Security Number, use 000-00-0000.
The “you” in the FAFSA refers to the student
Remember the FAFSA application assumes the student is completing the FAFSA. For example, if a parent is completing the FAFSA, remember that the word ‘you’ refers to the student.
Don’t use cents or decimals
Dollar amounts should not include cents. Do not indicate one hundred dollars as 100.00 as the FAFSA will read that 10,000. Instead of leaving an income question blank, you should indicate a zero.
Marital Status is based on the day you submit FAFSA
This refers to the marital status (student and/or parents) at the moment the FAFSA is filled. If someone is separated but still married, then the answer to Marital Status should be ‘Yes’.
Even if you filed taxes independently, you might be seen as a “dependent” on your FAFSA
Most students under the age of 24 will have to indicate dependent status. Please read this portion of your FAFSA application carefully and call One Stop Enrollment Center if you have additional questions or believe you qualify for independent status.
Number in Household and College
Read this part carefully and remember to include yourself as a person in college (you will be for the coming year!). If you are a dependent student and your parent is attending college, you cannot include your parent in the number in household attending college.
Errors Involving Taxes, Worksheets and Assets
If you are eligible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to automatically transfer IRS income information to the FAFSA. It’s quick and easy! If you must fill in this information manually, be extremely careful with these areas. Read all information closely. This can be a confusing part of the FAFSA. If you’re unsure how to answer some of these questions, please feel free to contact us and we are happy to help.
On-Campus Versus Off-Campus Versus With Parents
The answer to this question will impact your financial aid offer letter. Answer “On-Campus” if you intend to live at the university. Answer “Off Campus” if you intend to live away from your parent’s household but not at the university. Answer “With Parents” if you intend to live away from campus but with a parent or relative.