By Shannon Elward, Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Seniors and current or prospective college students: have you heard about the FAFSA? It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s a form you fill out to apply for financial aid for college. The FAFSA opens up federal, state and institutional funding, so you’ll need to file it to receive most kinds of financial aid – from grants and scholarships to work-study and loans.

The FAFSA opened on October 1 and Indiana’s deadline to file the 2020-2021 FAFSA is April 15, 2020. But, that doesn’t mean you should put it off until then. The earlier you apply, the better. Some colleges have financial aid deadlines before April 15th, and sometimes aid is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. You don’t want to miss out on those potential dollars!

Lucky for you, there are FREE events around the state to help make the FAFSA less scary.

But first, let’s go over what information you need to file.

  • Your Federal Student Aid ID (the FSA ID is a username and password and you can create on the FAFSA website)
  • Your Social Security number (found on a Social Security card)
  • Your driver’s license number (if you have a driver’s license)
  • 2018 federal tax returns (IRS forms 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A)
  • Records of money earned, including W-2 forms and bank statements from 2018
  • Alien registration numbers or permanent residence cards, if you or your parents/guardians are not U.S. citizens
  • List of schools you’re interested in attending

If you are under 24, you will probably need your parents’ or guardians’ income information in addition to yours. Find out more about that here:

Once you’re ready, you should file at

Now, onto that FREE FAFSA help.

Indiana’s Don’t Fear the FAFSA event is taking place this Saturday, October 19th from 10 am – 2 pm ET at Ivy Tech Community College – Indianapolis in the Illinois Fall Creek Center building. Come prepared with the information above and fill out your FAFSA onsite with FAFSA experts. Interested in attending Ivy Tech? Ivy Tech admissions will have information on hand, too. Get detailed information here:

Can’t make it this weekend? Check out College Goal Sunday on Sunday, November 3rd, and visit our events calendar to find FAFSA events taking place around the state.

Happy FAFSA filing season!

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