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Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for federal student aid. Most states and schools also use the results of your FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state and institutional scholarships and grant programs. You must file the FAFSA annually to apply for:
- Federal grants
- Federal student loans
- Federal parent loans
- Work (Federal Work-Study)
Some federal aid is limited in funding, so don't put off applying. The FAFSA is available every year on October 1, prior to the start of the academic year. Wright State University has a FAFSA priority deadline. This deadline is for campus-based aid programs, such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study. If you miss Wright State University's FAFSA priority deadline date you can still apply for federal student aid. Three of the largest federal student aid programs, the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan can still be awarded at Wright State if the FAFSA priority deadline date is not met.
Create an account (FSA ID).
If you don't already have an FSA ID, you will want to create an account. Already have an FSA ID and need help troubleshooting your account? Learn more.
- Student: The FSA ID is a username and password you will need in order to sign the FAFSA form online. If you don’t have an FSA ID, get an FSA ID here ASAP. It takes about 10 minutes to create an FSA ID. If this will be your first time filling out the FAFSA form, you’ll be able to use your FSA ID right away to sign and submit your FAFSA form online. If this is not your first time filling out the FAFSA form, you may need to wait one to three days for the account verification process before you can use your new FSA ID to renew your FAFSA form and sign it online.
- Parent: If your child is required to report parent information on the FAFSA form, you need to create your own FSA ID in order to sign your child’s FAFSA form online. Create an FSA ID here. Parents are able to use their FSA IDs right away. What should you expect as a parent filing the FAFSA? Learn more.
Need assistance creating an account? Learn more.
Gather documents needed to apply.
The FAFSA will ask for information about you, your spouse if you are married, and for your parents if you are a dependent student. The FAFSA asks for income and tax information from two prior tax years. Example:
- When filing the 2020–2021 FAFSA (Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021), you will need income information from the 2018 calendar year.
- When filing the 2021–2022 FAFSA (Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022), you will need income information from the 2019 calendar year.
For more information on what documents you will need, visit studentaid.gov.
Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail your records to us.
If you or your family have unusual circumstances (such as loss of employment or extraordinary expenses), submit your FAFSA with the data requested, then contact RaiderConnect for additional information or visit our FAFSA Adjustment page or Cost of Attendance Adjustment page.
Start the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Wright State's priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is February 1, prior to the start of the academic year. Remember, the FAFSA form is not a one-time thing. You must complete a FAFSA form for each school year you attend. Don't delay, apply today!
Tips when starting the FAFSA
- If you are the student: Click “Enter your (the student’s) FSA ID.” Then enter your FSA ID username and password, and click “Next.”
- If you are the parent: Click “Enter the student’s information.” Then provide the student’s name, Social Security number, and date of birth, and click “Next.”
Watch “FAFSA Form and FSA ID Tips for Parents”
Choose which FAFSA form you’d like to complete:
- 2020–21 FAFSA form if you will be attending Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021.
- 2021–22 FAFSA form if you will be attending Summer 2021, Fall 2021, or Spring 2022.
Create a save key. Unlike the FSA ID, the save key is meant to be shared. A save key is a temporary password that allows you and your parent(s) to “pass” the FAFSA form back and forth. It also allows you to save the FAFSA form and return to it later. This is especially helpful if you and your parent are not in the same place.
Fill out the Student Demographics section.
This is information such as your name, date of birth, etc. If you have completed the FAFSA form in the past or if you log into the FAFSA form with your FSA ID, a lot of your personal information will be prepopulated to save you time. Make sure you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. (That’s right, no nicknames.)
Parents: Remember that the FAFSA form is the student’s application, not yours. When the FAFSA form says “you” or “your,” it’s referring to the student. Pay attention to whether you’re being asked for student or parent information. When in doubt, the banner on the left side will indicate whether you’re on a student or parent page.
List Wright State as a school you want your FAFSA information sent.
In the School Selection section, add Wright State University (School Code: 003078) as a school to receive your FAFSA, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet.
Answer the dependency questions.
In the dependency status section, you’ll be asked a series of specific questions to determine whether you are required to provide parent information on the FAFSA form.
The dependency guidelines are set by Congress and are different from those used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even if you live on your own, support yourself, and file taxes on your own, you may still be considered a dependent student for federal student aid purposes. If you are determined to be a dependent student, you’ll be required to report information about your parent(s). If it is determined that you are an independent student, you won’t have to provide parent information and you can skip the next step.
Fill out the Parent Demographics section.
This is where your parent(s) will provide basic demographic information. Remember that it doesn’t matter if you don’t live with your parent(s); you still must report information about them if you were determined to be a dependent student in the step above.
Start by figuring out who counts as your parent on the FAFSA form. Visit the Federal Student Aid Who is my parent according to the FAFSA form? webpage.
Supply your financial information.
Here is where you and your parent(s) (if applicable) will provide your financial information. This step is incredibly simple if you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The IRS DRT allows you to import your IRS tax information into the FAFSA form with just a few clicks. Using this tool may also reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide to your school. So, if you’re eligible, use it! To access the tool, indicate that you’ve “already completed” taxes on the student or parent finances page. If you’re eligible, you’ll see a “LINK TO IRS” button. Choose that option and follow the prompts. Note: The information transferred from the IRS will not be displayed, but you will get a confirmation message letting you know that the transfer was successful. You’ll also know which items have been transferred from the IRS because you’ll see “Transferred from the IRS” in place of the answer fields. Please make sure to answer all other questions.
In certain circumstances, you cannot use the DRT. If you cannot use the DRT, don't worry. You can enter your information into the FAFSA using the documents you gathered. Instructions are provided for each FAFSA question in the Help and Hints section on the right side of the page and are available by clicking Need Help? at the bottom of the page.
Visit the Federal Student Aid Providing Financial Information webpage to learn more. Try the resource Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information Into Your FAFSA Form graphic—Explains how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax information into the FAFSA form.
Sign and submit your FAFSA form.
You’re not finished with the FAFSA form until you (and your parent, if you’re a dependent student) sign it. The quickest and easiest way to sign your FAFSA form is online with your FSA ID.
Wright State University will receive your submitted FAFSA within 3–5 business days. Check WINGS Express to view the receipt of your FAFSA and next steps in receiving financial aid.
Sign and Submit Tips:
- If you (the student) logged in to the FAFSA form with your FSA ID, you won’t need to provide it again on this page, but if you’re a dependent student, your parent will still need to sign before you can completely submit.
- Make sure you and your parent don’t mix up your FSA IDs. This is one of the most common errors we see, and why it’s extremely important for each person to create his or her own FSA ID and not share it with anyone.
- Make sure the parent who is using his or her FSA ID to sign the FAFSA form chooses the right parent number from the drop-down menu. If your parent doesn’t remember whether he or she was listed as Parent 1 or Parent 2, he or she can go back to the parent demographics section to check.
- If you have siblings, your parent can use the same FSA ID to sign FAFSA forms for all of their children. Your parent can also transfer his or her information into your sibling’s application by choosing the option provided on the FAFSA confirmation page.
- We recommend signing the FAFSA form with an FSA ID because it’s the fastest way to get your FAFSA form processed. However, if you and/or your parent are unable to sign the FAFSA form electronically with an FSA ID, you can mail in a signature page. From the sign and submit page, select “Other options to sign and submit” and then choose “Print A Signature Page.” Just keep in mind that your FAFSA form will take longer to process if you go this route.
Once you file your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education's Central Processing System will process the application and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is not an Award Notice. The Student Aid Report contains a summary of the information you provided on the FAFSA. It also tells you whether or not you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. Check all of the information on your SAR carefully and if you need to you can correct your FAFSA. The SAR information will be sent to every school you listed on the FAFSA. Schools use the SAR information to determine your federal student aid eligibility.
After you file your FAFSA, you can log back into studentaid.gov and make additional changes or corrections to the data you entered. Common corrections include:
- Adding a school
- Using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update tax information
- Manually updating tax information
Federal Student Aid Information Center
Toll-Free: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
If you are hearing impaired and have questions, please contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913.