Your Guide to the FAFSA
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it is an important first step to the financial aid process. Filling out the FAFSA application is your path to thousands of dollars in financial aid to help you pay for college. The form determines your eligibility for financial aid rewards such as such as grants, work-study, and loans. It is also used to award state aid.
The FAFSA form is available on Oct. 1 for the next school year. We encourage you to fill it out as soon as possible on or after Oct. 1. The process may take 4-6 weeks. You will need WITCC's Federal School Code - 004956.
Preview the questions you may be asked while completing the FAFSA form.
2021 - 22 FAFSA Worksheet
2021 - 22 Academic Year
FAFSA forms must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2022. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, 2022.
2021 - 22 Academic Year
July 1, 2021, by midnight CT. Earlier priority deadlines may exist for certain programs. Additional forms may be required.
Before You Start
You will need the following documents before you start your FAFSA application.
- Your Social Security Number.
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student.
- Your driver’s license number (if you have one).
- Your Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen).
- Tax returns (2018 tax returns for the 2020-2021 school year, 2019 tax returns for the 2021-22 school year) for you (and your spouse if you are married) and for your parents (if you are a dependent student).
- Records of untaxed income (child support, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, etc.) for you and for your parents (if you are a dependent student).
- Information on cash, savings, checking account balances, investments, stocks, bonds, real estate (not including the home you live in) and business and farm assets for you and for your parents (if you are a dependent student).
- Have the documents and information needed ready to go.
- Select the 2020–21 FAFSA Form if you will be attending college starting the Fall of 2020. Select the 2021-22 FAFS Form if you will be attending college starting the fall of 2021.
- Keep these records handy in case you need them again.
Create an FSA ID
Your first step is creating an FSA ID, a username and password to create an account. We recommend creating an FSA ID ahead of time to cut down on errors and delays. If you’re a dependent student, a parent will also need a unique FSA ID.
- Provide both a cell number and email address. Use a general email account, not a school account
- Create an FSA ID for yourself and a parent - ASAP. Some of the biggest problems occur when students wait until the last minute to create an FSA ID. It may take a few days to verify your account.
- Keep individual FSA ID’s separate. Sometimes students and parents get their FSA ID’s mixed up which can cause delays.
- General student information such as your name, birth date, address, etc.
- Your dependency status which determines whose information you must report on the FAFSA.
- If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information. It doesn’t mean your parents are required to pay for your education.
- If you’re an independent student, you will report your own information (and your spouse’s if you are married).
- Demographic information about your parent (if you are a dependent student)
- Financial information about you (and your spouse if you are married) and your parents (if you are a dependent student). This step will be simpler by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool. It will import your tax data into your FAFSA, reducing time and errors.
- You will also be asked to list of colleges you are interested in. Your FAFSA information is sent to each school on your list. You do not need to apply to or be accepted to any of the schools on your list.
- In the “School Selection” section, add every school you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet.
- Pay attention to whether you’re being asked for student or parent information. When the FAFSA form says “you” or “your,” it’s referring to the student (unless otherwise noted).
- Save yourself a lot of time by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The tool allows you to import your IRS tax information with just a few clicks.
- Choose the option to complete a “renewal” FAFSA form. It will save your demographic information for next year.
Explains how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax information into the FAFSA form.
Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information
Sign and Submit
To complete the form, you and your parent have to sign it. The easiest way to sign the FAFSA form is online with your FAFSA ID.
After clicking “submit” don’t leave yet! Complete the “Iowa Common Application” in order to access grants and scholarships available through the state of Iowa.
- On the submission confirmation screen, click on Iowa Common Application in the bottom-left corner. It will take you to the application for Iowa State aid and grants.
Complete Your Aid
Once you have submitted your FAFSA application, complete these next steps.
Watch a video on actions you need to take to fully process your financial aid.