FAFSA-simple questions and answers

Below, from www.collegeanswer.com, is a review of questions and answers concerning the FAFSA. If this is one of your missing benchmarks, it needs to be completed ASAP.

FAFSA: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a federal form you must fill out to qualify for most student financial aid.

I didn't submit my FAFSA in January and it's now April. Are there any penalties for waiting so long to submit my FAFSA?
Ideally, you should complete a FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Most schools' deadlines are well in advance of the corresponding state and federal deadlines. And many colleges award aid on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do I need a Social Security Number to apply for federal student financial aid?
You must have a Social Security number (SSN) to be eligible for federal student financial aid. If you submit a FAFSA without an SSN, your FAFSA will be returned to you unprocessed.

Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed before submitting the FAFSA?
No. Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is okay to use estimates of your income, so long as they aren't far off from the actual values. Keep in mind that if you wait too long, you may miss state aid deadlines. Most states require the FAFSA to be submitted by March 1, and some even as early as early or mid-February.

Should I use my dad’s tax and salary info if my parents are divorced?
MAYBE. The form should be completed with information
from the parent with whom you lived for the majority of
time during the past 12 months.

What is a PIN used for?
You can do the following with your PIN: Electronically sign a FAFSA. Use Renewal FAFSA on the Web to reapply for financial aid, if you applied last year. Make Corrections on the Web to an existing FAFSA. Check the status of your FAFSA and view an electronic copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). Print a copy of your SAR online. Access National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) information if you have received any previous financial aid.

Who is eligible for a PIN?
Anyone who has a Social Security Number and is a US Citizen or eligible Non-Citizen may apply for a PIN. you can apply for a PIN by going to the Department of Education's PIN Web site and select PIN Request and Information > Apply for PIN. It takes approximately 1-3 days to get a PIN, if you have a valid and current e-mail address. If you do not have an e-mail address, your PIN will be sent via regular postal mail. It takes about 7-10 days to receive it by mail.