Start With FAFSA - UW HELP

Start With FAFSA

The federal government is the largest source of student financial aid. Start by seeing if you qualify for federal assistance. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to begin. Almost every campus awards some aid to FAFSA applicants. You can list up to 10 colleges on your FAFSA of where your information will be sent. FAFSA opens on October 1.

Three Steps to Completing Your FAFSA

ONE: Create Your FSA ID

Your FSA ID is a username and password combination that you will use to access your financial aid information. Be sure to use the FSA ID cheat sheet to save your information. To learn more about how to create or recover your FSA ID, visit

TWO: Fill Out Your FAFSA

Download the myStudentAid app or go to to start the FAFSA. You will need your FSA ID to get started. Refer to the video, “How to Fill Out the FAFSA” below on what materials you should have ready when filling out the form.

THREE: Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

After submitting your FAFSA, you’ll receive a personal Student Aid Report (SAR) via email. The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will have access to your SAR data electronically within a day after it is processed. Refer to the video, “What Happens Next” below on what to expect.

What You’ll Need to Complete Your FAFSA

Checklist of what you’ll need

  • Your FSA ID
  • Your email address
  • Social Security Number (SSN), or Alien Registration number if you are an eligible noncitizen.
  • Driver’s license, if you have one.
  • Federal income tax return, W-2s, and untaxed income records, if available.
  • Current bank statements.
  • School’s where you want to apply for financial aid. Each school has a FAFSA code. Find the FAFSA code for your UWs on this chart, or from your campus’ profile page.

If you are filing as a dependent, you’ll also need the following information about your parent(s) or guardian:

  • Your parent or guardian’s FSA ID
  • Federal income tax return, W-2s, and untaxed income records
  • Bank statements
  • Business and/or investment records


  • Do not leave any questions blank. Use 0 if the answer is zero.
  • If your parent does not have a Social Security Number (SSN) enter all zeros. DO NOT MAKE UP A NUMBER.
  • The name you list on the FAFSA must match the name on your Social Security card. This is especially important for students that have a suffix.
  • Do not use your high school email for the FAFSA. Use a personal email address that you can access after graduation.
  • Remember to sign the FAFSA. The signature page allows you to submit the form without a signature, but this will cause an error.
  • Take your time. Reach out to a Financial Aid Office at a UW campus if you have questions or need help completing the form.

Video Walk-throughs From Federal Student Aid

How to Create a Username and Password (FSA ID)

After the FAFSA: What Happens Next?

How to Fill Out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FAFSA Events

Get help completing your FAFSA by attending an in-person or virtual College Goal Wisconsin event.

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