Key Points: FAFSA for 2020-2021 Academic Year

Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to determine if a student qualifies for student aid and exactly which type of aid. The types of aid available are grants, scholarships, federal student loans, or federal work-study. The federal deadline to submit a FAFSA for 2020-2021 academic year is June 30, 2021, and it was available beginning October 1, 2019. It is important to complete the FAFSA as early as possible because schools and states have limited amount of aid they can give.

Documents Needed

The first thing to determine – are you a qualified dependent? This means you are claimed as a dependent on your parent’s 2018 return.

If you are claimed as a dependent, the following information is needed from your parents:

  • 2018 tax return
  • Total balance of cash, checking, and savings account
  • Records of untaxed income such as child support or veteran benefits
  • Net worth of investments

You will need:

  • 2018 tax return information if you filed, or total wages earned from 2018 if any
  • Drivers license number if you have one
  • Total balance of cash, savings, and checking accounts
  • Records of untaxed income such as child support or veteran benefits
  • Net worth of investments

Even if claimed as a dependent, you still need your asset, income, and tax information if any. In some cases, both parents may need to report financial information. For instance, if they did not file a joint tax return for 2018. For questions in this situation call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Application Process

You can apply online, using the mobile app, or printing and mailing a pdf version.

  • It can take 15-20 minutes to complete using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which transfers all relevant 2018 financial information.
  • Include all universities you would like to have a copy sent.
  • You can submit a FAFSA to a school before you’ve applied but it won’t be processed until after you have been accepted by the school.
  • Follow up with the financial aid office 3 to 5 days after submitting to determine the types of aid you are eligible to receive.


For more information or if you would like help completing a FAFSA visit


Posted: July 8, 2020

Category: Money Matters, Work & Life

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