What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step to apply for federal aid such as grants, loans, and work-study. The Department of Education will use the information provided on your FAFSA and forward it to the college(s) listed to determine eligibility.
What will I need to fill out the FAFSA?
Please have your FSA ID created and handy.
What if I or my parent(s) did not file taxes?
You will need to indicate on your FAFSA that you and/or your parents did not file. You may be asked to provide a non-tax filer statement verifying you and/or your parents did not file income tax for the previous year.
I don't live with my parents and/or they don't support me, why am I considered dependent?
Although you may not be financially dependent on your parents or living in the same household, if you do not meet FAFSA's criteria to be considered independent you will be considered a dependent student.
Visit the Federal Student Aid official FAFSA Dependency page for more information.
Where can I get a copy of my prior year tax return?
You can request a tax return transcript from the IRS website.
After completing the FAFSA, do I need to send anything to the college?
No, as long as you include the correct school code your information will be electronically sent to the college.
Do I need to fill out the FAFSA every year?
Yes, the FAFSA must be renewed each year.
When do I fill the FAFSA out?
Beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, the FAFSA will be available three months earlier than previously allowed: October 1. For more information on this initiative, visit our Early FAFSA page.
When a Student is Attending College
|When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA
Which Year's Income &
Tax Information is Required
|July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
||January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
|July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
||January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
|July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
||October 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018
|July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019
||October 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019
Completing the FAFSA
Before filling out your FAFSA
- Be sure you have completed the ApplyTexas Application and provided a social security number on your application.
- Gather all biographical data (name, social security number, date of birth) and make sure all data matches information provided on your ApplyTexas Application.
- The Alamo Colleges recommends students, parents, and spouses (if applicable) upload their income tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval (DRT) tool when filling out the FAFSA.
After you fill out the FAFSA
- Please allow 2-3 weeks for the college to receive your FAFSA. After the college receives the FAFSA students should login to ACES and check for any additional requirements including verification.
- If selected for verification, please visit the Verification webpage.
- Be sure to print and review the SAR (Student Aid Report) to make sure all information is correct and address any notes that might be attached identifying "issues". All issues on your SAR must be corrected before the college can download your application.
Fill out your FAFSA now!
For assistance completing the FAFSA, view the 7 steps to complete the FAFSA tutorial.