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If you have a child planning to attend college during the 2024-25 school year, you have a role in completing the FAFSA.

Filing the FAFSA is the first step in financial aid to pay for college. For most students, completing the FAFSA requires information from a parent. Filing the FAFSA does not mean you have to provide financial support for your child in college, but information from at least one parent is required for your child to complete the FAFSA and qualify for federal aid, including the Pell Grant, Access Missouri, and the A+ Program.

Who needs to complete parent information on the FAFSA?

The purpose of the FAFSA is to determine household income that can be used to pay for college. For dependent students, the FAFSA requires financial information from at least one biological or adoptive parent. Legal guardians or other relatives should not complete the parental information section of the FAFSA.

In cases of separation or divorce, the parent who provides the most financial support is required to provide financial information. When completing the FAFSA, you will see a Parent Wizard that will help determine you who is considered a parent for each student applicant. This chart from Federal Student Aid can help you decide who should contribute information to the FAFSA.

Parents without a social security number will need to contribute information to the FAFSA. They will need a FSA ID and can apply for one here. When applying, click the box that says “I don’t have a social security number.” This will take you to the process for creating an FSA ID without a social security number. Parent information is kept secure, and only used for determining the student’s eligibility for financial aid. This blog from the National College Attainment Network has more information. Click here for instructions in Spanish on how to apply for an FSAID without a Social Security Number. This page has resources for mixed status families.

Need FAFSA help this summer? Check out this spreadsheet for summer supports available across the state – both virtual and in-person.

What parents need to do

Step 1: Create a FSA ID

You will need to create a Federal Student Aid ID separate from your child’s, using your own phone number and email address to verify the account. Your FSA ID is the username and password you will use to access all Federal Student Aid websites, including which is home to the FAFSA form. Before you can start your FAFSA, your FSA ID must be verified by the Social Security Administration, which can take a few days. Create your FSA ID early. If you previously set up a FSA ID, you do not need to create a new one.

For more information about creating an FSA ID, see this resource in English from The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and this resource in Spanish from UCanGo2.

Step 2: Gather your information

Before completing your FAFSA, make sure you have the following information available:

Step 3: Complete the FAFSA

The FAFSA is open and accepting applications. Your child will start the FAFSA using their own FSA ID, and will invite you as a contributor to enter your financial information. Each school and state program has different priority deadlines. While it won’t make your student ineligible if they miss a priority deadline, the funding in many programs is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you file early. Missouri’s deadline for need-based state aid is April 1.

Looking for help to complete the FAFSA? Find a FAFSA Frenzy event near you by clicking here.

Check out these tips and tricks from FSA and MOCAN if you are having trouble completing the FAFSA.

Step 4: Review your FAFSA application

Review your FAFSA for accuracy and make any corrections necessary before you hit submit. For the FAFSA to be fully submitted, both the student and parent need to complete and sign their sections. Whoever completes last can submit the FAFSA. You should receive a confirmation email from Federal Student Aid. If not, log back in to make sure everything is completed.

Step 5: After you file

It could take several days to weeks to process your child’s FAFSA form. Your child can expect to receive a report called the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) with their Student Aid Index (SAI) in March. The FSS tells you what federal aid your child can expect to receive and what they are expected to pay towards their education. This will not include state aid, institutional grants, or private scholarships.

In April and May, the college financial aid offices will begin sending out financial aid offer letters that include a list of federal financial aid, plus any additional institutional aid they may qualify for. This financial aid offer letter may include loans, but students are not required to take out loans if they are not needed.

FAFSA corrections are not yet available – they should be available mid-April.

Visit the Student Page of for additional resources and more information about upcoming FAFSA completion events.

Check out this resource library from Get Schooled for detailed information about every step of thet FAFSA process. Many documents are also available in Spanish.