5 Prep Steps for Early FAFSA
Big changes are coming to the FAFSA! The FAFSA will now be available earlier, and it will be easier to complete. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
1. File the FAFSA as early as you can.
The 2017-2018 FAFSA will be available at FAFSA.gov on October 1. The 2017-2018 FAFSA will require 2015 income information, so applicants will no longer have to estimate income information. There is no downside to filing early, and it is one of the best ways to maximize your financial aid eligibility.
2. Get your FSA IDs now.
The FSA ID is the user name and password students use to access all federal student aid websites, including FAFSA.gov. All students need an FSA ID. Dependent students will also need one parent to have an FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA. We strongly recommend that students (and one parent, if applicable) create their FSA ID ahead of time. Go to fsaid.ed.gov to create an FSA ID and use FAME's FSA ID Information Tracking Sheet to keep track of FSA ID information .
3. Learn more about the financial aid process.
Regardless of whether you're familiar with the process or new to the world of financial aid, FAME can help. FAME partners with high schools throughout the state to offer in-person financial aid presentations. Additionally, we will be hosting several on-line webinars during the month of September. For a schedule of these presentations and webinars, please visit FAME's Events page .
4. Prepare to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Most applicants who were required to file federal income taxes will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA. We strongly recommend using the tool. To retrieve IRS information, mailing address information must be entered exactly as shown on the tax return. Having student (and parent, if applicable) 2015 federal income tax return(s) available when completing the FAFSA will make the process easier .
5. Locate a FAME In-Person FAFSA Help Session.
Many people find that completing the FAFSA is now easier than ever. However, if you would like in-person help, join us at one of FAME's In-Person FAFSA Help sessions. Not able to attend a session? Visit FAMEmaine.com/FAFSA for on-line help or contact a FAME expert at 1-800-228-3734 or Education@FAMEmaine.com .
Want More Information?

For more in-depth information, key dates, and a list of resources for "Early FAFSA," visit the   Early FAFSA page on our website.

For a more interactive experience, join us on Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 a.m. for this month's Wednesday Webinar: Get Ready to File the FAFSA--It's Almost Time!

Follow FAME on Facebook and Twitter for timely FAFSA-related tips!

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