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Need money for college? Here you will find all the answers on how to apply for FAFSA.

Did you know that by completing one application, you could receive free federal financial aid for college? All you have to do it spend roughly thirty minutes with your financial statements. This is a guide on how to apply for FAFSA. The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information prior to acting. 

You may also like: Need money for college? Take a look at our Scholarships page.

Typically, students are able to complete their FAFSA application beginning in January of each year. However, this year, applications were available three months prior. If you are attending school after July 1st, 2019, you can submit your FAFSA beginning on October 1st, 2018.

Students are now required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2018–19 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2017 income information, rather than their 2018 income information.

If you choose the Renewal FAFSA option when you start your application at, some basic information from your 2017–18 FAFSA will be pre-populated in your 2018–19 FAFSA. However, your tax and income information will not. (Too much could have changed in your life since you filled out the 2017–18 FAFSA.)  

For more information, view FAFSA Frequently Asked Questions for the 2018-19 Academic Year.

Apply For FAFSA 

How to Apply:

1. Gather these documents:
– Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

– Recent Federal Income Tax Returns, W-2s and other records of money earned
– Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
– Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
– FSA ID to sign electronically. (Create FSA ID)

2. Visit the FAFSA website and begin your FAFSA application.

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FAFSA money can come in three types: grants, loans, and work-study.

Grants: Through the Department of Education, the federal government gives away Pell Grants, free money and are the largest source of federal funds for college.

Loans: Federal loans, another source of financial aid available from FAFSA, have lower fixed interest rates than private loans. If you attend graduate school right after graduating or enlist in the armed forces, these loans can be deferred.

Work Study: Work study through the federal government is part-time work in order to help decrease the cost of college.

Also, different schools have different deadlines. To make sure that you are turning in your information on time, check the school’s website or with an admissions counselor.

In addition to checking in on FAFSA deadlines, contact your high school about college and career planning tool Naviance. Naviance is a software tool that allows students to achieve 3 primary goals: getting to know themselves, exploring possibilities, and taking action. 

By not completing the FAFSA application, students remove themselves from these options. $2.9 billion could keep millions of students out of debt, and help them pay for the education they deserve. Take a look at these scholarships to see what money is available for you.

You may also like: NKU offers scholarships to students majoring in STEM.

Completing the FAFSA application can really help students received funding for college. However, be sure not to commit any of these common FAFSA mistakes while preparing your application.

Do you need more assistance completing your FAFSA application? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you apply for FAFSA. There are many ways you can pay for college, and the FAFSA is a quick and easy one. But, don’t delay because deadlines are approaching!


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or text VOBC to 797979 for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.

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