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The FAFSA is your first step in financial aid

If you are planning to attend college during the 2024-2025 school year, the FAFSA is the key to financial aid. Whether you are a new student or returning student, attending a trade school or four year university, the FAFSA is for you.

Reminder – the FAFSA is for US Citizens and permanent residents.  If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you should not complete the FAFSA.  Contact the financial aid office at your institution to see how you should apply for financial aid.

You will probably need at least one of your parents to contribute information to your FAFSA. If you aren’t sure which parent should provide information, check out this chart from Federal Student Aid.

If your parent does not have a Social Security Number, they can now contribute to your FAFSA. Check out these resources for mixed status families.

Step 1: Create a FSA ID

Before you can file the FAFSA, you need to create a Federal Student ID. 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 – so create your FSA ID early! Check out this guide from uAspire if you need help.


  • Use an e-mail address you check regularly, NOT a school address you may not always have access to. 
  • Keep your username and password in a safe place on your phone and computer, so you can easily access it in the future
  • Verify your account with both an email address and phone number.
  • In most cases, both the student and at least one parent will need to create an FSA ID.

Step 2: Gather your information

Gather the following information before you begin – you will need it to complete the form.

Step 3: Complete the FAFSA

Now is the time to complete the FAFSA. Both you and your parent will need to contribute information to the FAFSA, so make sure they are completing it too! Each colleges has different priority deadlines. While it won’t make you ineligible if you miss a priority deadline, the funding in many programs is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so file as early as possible. Missouri’s deadline for need-based state aid is April 1.

Click here to start your FAFSA


  • Use your FSA ID to login to the FAFSA at Be careful to avoid sites that offer to complete the FAFSA for a fee. They are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.
  • If you have questions, start with the chat bot at or call Federal Student Aid at (800) 433-3243.
  • If you need more help, contact your school counselor or college financial aid office.
  • If you are applying to college for the first time for the 2024-25 school year, you are considered a first-year freshman.
  • If you are currently enrolled, transferring, or re-enrolling, you can use your same FSA ID. You will notice the FAFSA form has substantially changed this year. You and your parent will need to complete your sections separately, and the calculation of how much aid you might receive has changed. For an update on what has changed, click here.

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

Check out these lists from Federal Student Aid and MOCAN for helpful tips and tricks 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. Confirm that your parent has completed their section. After the last contributor completes their section, your FAFSA will be complete. You should receive a confirmation e-mail that your FAFSA form has been received. If not, login and double check that it was submitted.

Step 5: After you file

The end result of your FAFSA is a report called the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). The FSS tells you how much federal aid you can expect to receive and what you may be expected to pay towards your education. The FSS will also have your Student Aid Index (SAI). FAFSA Submission Summaries will be sent to students in the first half of March.

FAFSA corrections are not yet available – they should be available mid-April. FSA will start sending FAFSA data to colleges in March, so you can expect your financial aid offer letter in April or May.

If you notice an asterisk (*) next to the SAI on your FAFSA confirmation email or FAFSA Submission Summary, it means your FAFSA has been flagged for verification and your college may ask for additional documentation. Check your email and college communication portal for updates.

Reminder: The FAFSA must be completed each year you are in school to qualify for financial aid.

Links & Resources

Federal Student Aid

The FAFSA is a form of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education. This site links to the FAFSA and provides the best information on how to complete it. Start here.

FAFSA Frenzy

Journey to College and the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development host free FAFSA completion events across the state. Find a FAFSA Frenzy event near you.


National nonprofit organization uAspire has easy to follow checklists and tools for students with questions about the FAFSA and financial aid, including short videos on each step of the FAFSA process.

Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis provides free workshops and in-person clinics (by appointment only) to help students and families navigate the financial aid process. This will include FAFSA specific workshops this year.

Kansas City FAFSA Initiative

Looking for assistance in the Kansas City region? Through MOCAN, the Kansas City metro has access to a FAFSA Support Specialist to coordinate and support FAFSA completion efforts in-person and virtually.

Journey to College

Visit the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development’s Journey to College program website for FAFSA updates.

Get Schooled FAFSA Resources

Comprehensive resources available in English and Spanish. Includes information on setting up your FSA ID, completing the FAFSA, and what to do after filing the form.

My Scholarship Central

My Scholarship Central is a free platform connecting Missouri students to over 170 scholarships and interest-free loan programs. Complete a general application and the system will identify scholarships for which you are eligible. Students were awarded more than $15 million last year.