Remember that the Pell Grant application is the FAFSA, and when you are ready to fill one out you can obtain either a written copy, or simply fill out the online version. The best places to find a written copy of the FAFSA include your school’s financial aid office, the official FAFSA website at fafsa.ed.gov, or by calling the phone number 1-800-4-fed-aid.
If you want to fill out an online FAFSA you need to go onto fafsa.ed.gov and simply follow the instructions that are provided. You’ll first need to obtain your PIN if you want to be able to sign your application online, and this can be done at the same website.
Once you have received your PIN it is then simply a matter of filling out the appropriate information, and if you can have all of the necessary documentation by your side this process can go by fairly quickly.
The following is an accounting of the most crucial pieces of information you should have at your disposal when filling out your application.
- Bank statements
- Investment records and statements
- If you are married, your spouse’s tax documents
- Your current untaxed income statements from the previous year
- If you are still a dependent, your parents’ tax documents
- Driver’s license
- Social security number
- W-2 forms
- Federal tax returns from previous year
- If not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration card, or permanent resident card
- If you own a home, your mortgage documentation
- If you own a business or farm, the appropriate business or farm documentation
Once you have this information close by filling out your FAFSA should go by fairly quickly, and most students are able to finish it in about an hour or two. Remember that the earliest date that you can go ahead and fill out your FAFSA is January first for the upcoming fall semester, and the latest you can submit one is June thirtieth.
It is highly recommended that you don’t wait that long, and it is typically best to complete your FAFSA by March first. Keep in mind that the FAFSA is the actual Pell Grant application you’ll need to complete if you want to get awarded any sort of Pell Grant funding, and you are going to have to fill-out, or update your FAFSA each year to gain a positive eligibility status for the Pell Grant on a yearly basis.