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FAFSA Tips

Below are 7 helpful tips for completing your FAFSA:

  1. File online at www.fafsa.gov.
    Be sure to type the correct website address. The only official FAFSA website is www.fafsa.gov. Other websites may have similar names but are not the U.S. Department of Education’s official site. Note that the FAFSA is a FREE application and you should never pay or enter credit card information to file.
  2. You do not have to wait until you (or your parents) have filed their 2012 tax returns
    FAFSA requires information from both the student and parents’ (for dependent students) Federal Income Tax Returns. The U.S. Department of Education allows you to submit estimated income and tax figures.  There is no penalty assessed for filing estimated tax figures on the FAFSA.  You may correct the information at a later time, if necessary, at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  3. BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR SCHOOL NAME AND CODE
    Be sure to enter “Howard University” and the school code (001448) to have your FAFSA information sent to Howard University.
  4. Read your Student Aid Report (SAR)
    After your FAFSA is processed, the U.S. Department of Education will e-mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR) that includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and any important messages regarding your FAFSA. Issues affecting your aid eligibility may also be listed on your FAFSA (e.g. verification, citizenship, loan limits). Be sure to check your SPAM filters to ensure you do receive a SAR pertaining the important information above. Please retain a copy of your SAR for your records.
  5. Secure and save your pin.
    Be sure to keep your personal identification number (PIN) to electronically sign your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, your parents may also obtain a PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA. If you or your parents have lost the PIN, please visit www.pin.ed.gov.
  6. If you are a senior planning to attendGraduate or Professional School.
    Please note that you do not have to be accepted to a graduate or professional school to send your FAFSA data. You may have your FAFSA data sent to any school you select prior to completing your admission application or being accepted.
  7. We are here to help.
    If you need help completing the FAFSA, please be sure to stop by the Office of Financial Aid during regular office hours to have one of our representatives assist you. If possible, please bring all necessary documents to complete your FAFSA online.

Remember that delays in submitting your FAFSA may mean delays in your financial aid processing. Every eligible student is encouraged to file the FAFSA. Even if you believe that you will not qualify for federal financial aid, many scholarship and grant programs (including the freshman, athletic and donor scholarship programs) still require that a valid FAFSA be filed for consideration by February 1, 2013.

The Office of Financial Aid will begin preparing financial aid award packages in March 2013. Be sure to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible so that you and your family may make all financial plans for your next academic year before May.