October 2019
5 Tips for Completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA
Money available to help pay for education after high school, but you have to apply for financial aid. All students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1. All schools use the FAFSA to award federal financial aid and the Maine State Grant, and many schools also use the FAFSA to award their institutional financial aid. Here are five tips to help you file the FAFSA:
1. Get an FSA ID now .
The FSA ID is the user name and password students need to access and use all Federal Student Aid websites, including FAFSA.gov. All students need an FSA ID. If parent information is required on the FAFSA, one parent will also need to create an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA. Each FSA ID takes about 10 minutes to create. We strongly recommend getting FSA IDs ahead of time. When creating FSA IDs, individuals must have the ability to receive a text on their mobile phone and/or have access to email.
Use FAME's FSA ID Information Tracking Sheet to keep track of your FSA ID information.
2. File your FAFSA at FAFSA.gov .
This is the official FAFSA website and the only place you should go to file your FAFSA.
Filing the FAFSA is FREE! Don't pay to file the FAFSA or use any other website to file your FAFSA.
Need help filing your FAFSA? Plan to attend one of FAME's In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions .
3. List at least one school on your FAFSA .
When filing the FAFSA, at least one school must be listed in the School Selection section. We recommend listing any school that you are even potentially interested in attending (up to 10 schools). Additional schools can be added later by going back into the FAFSA at FAFSA.gov and adding (or replacing) a school in the School Selection section.
4. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool .
When filing the FAFSA, most parents and students who filed federal taxes will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). If presented with the opportunity to use the IRS DRT, please do so--it will ensure that your tax information is accurate and make the rest of the process easier. Be sure you have a copy of your 2018 federal tax return in front of you when completing the FAFSA. You’ll need to enter your address exactly as it appears on your return and may need to enter information from certain Schedules, as well as from your W2s.
5 . File your FAFSA every year .
You must file the FAFSA each year to be considered for financial aid. After the first year, filing the FAFSA is even easier as much of your information will be carried forward into a renewal FAFSA and will only need to be updated.
Want More Information?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:

What You Need to Know to File the FAFSA

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
10:00–11:00 a.m.

It's FAFSA time! The 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available beginning October 1. We’ll share some new information about the FSA ID and then review the FAFSA section by section, with a focus on the questions that provide the biggest challenges for students. Participants will learn what's new, what's improved, and how to answer the questions you can expect students and families to ask when completing this year's FAFSA.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor 
Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
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