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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.
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 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. Federal Student Aid is creating a Parent Wizard on the new FAFSA form that will help determine 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 can contribute information to the FAFSA. They will need a FSA ID. The process to get an FSA ID without a social security number will not be available until the FAFSA opens in December. 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.
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 StudentAid.gov 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 – so create your FSA ID early. If you previously set up a FSA ID, you do not need to create a new one.
Step 2: Gather your information
The FAFSA will open in December, but you can take steps now to gather the information you will need to complete it. Here is what you may need:
- FSA ID and password
- Social Security number (or alien registration number if you are an eligible non-citizen)
- 2022 federal tax return
- Current asset information (total of cash, savings, checking accounts; net worth of businesses and investments)
- Amount of annual child support received
Step 3: Complete the FAFSA
Complete the FAFSA as soon as you can once it opens. Your child will start the FAFSA using their own FSA ID, and will invite you as a contributor to enter your financial information. Many schools and state programs have different priority filing deadlines. While it won’t make your student ineligible if they miss a priority filing deadline, the funding in many programs is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you file early. Missouri’s priority deadline for need-based state aid is February 1. You can still receive aid if you complete the FAFSA by April 1, but the amount may depend on the number of applications received.
Looking for help to complete the FAFSA? Find a FAFSA Frenzy near you by clicking here.
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 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 with their Student Aid Index. The SAI 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. Once your child has been accepted to a college, the school’s financial aid office will send an award letter that includes a list of federal financial aid, plus any additional institutional aid they may qualify for. This financial aid award letter may include loans, but students are not required to take out loans if they are not needed.
Upcoming FSA ID Creation Events
Hosted by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
|Kansas City Public Library, 201 E. 75th St, Kansas City MO||December 5 4-7 pm|
|Park Hills Job Center, 403 Parkway Drive Suite A, Park Hills MO||December 5 4-6 pm|
|Sedalia Job Center, 515 S. Kentucky Ave, Sedalia MO||December 5 5-7 pm|
|Joplin Job Center, 730 S. Wall Ave, Joplin MO||December 5 5-7 pm|
|For more FSA ID creation events and FAFSA Frenzies, visit the Journey to College Calendar.|