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The 2021–2022 FAFSA is Here! We Have the Tips to Help you Complete It

by Tracey A. Maine on October 6, 2020

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is available. If you need financial aid to help pay your educational costs, you should complete the FAFSA early to ensure you receive the maximum aid you are eligible for. 

Don't delay; complete your FAFSA today!

How do I complete the FAFSA? 

You can complete your FAFSA online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa, or you can use the myStudentAid mobile app!

What's the first thing I need to do?

If this is your first time completing a FAFSA, you will need to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). An FSA ID is a username and password that allows you to electronically sign your FAFSA and access other student information websites with the U.S. Department of Education. Each student, and one parent of each dependent student, will need an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA process on fafsa.gov. We recommend creating your FSA ID early — even before you're ready to complete the FAFSA form — to avoid delays in the process.

How do I create an FSA ID?

  1. Anyone who plans to fill out the 2021–22 FAFSA form should create an FSA ID as soon as possible. However, no one should create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else or share your information with anyone else. The FSA ID is your personal identifier. 
  2. If you are required to provide parent information on your FAFSA form, your parent should create their own FSA ID.
  3. Because your FSA ID is equivalent to your signature, parents and students each need to create their own FSA IDs using their own email address and phone number. Parents should not create an FSA ID for their child and vice versa.
  4. In some situations, you may need to wait up to three days to use your FSA ID after creating it, yet this will not delay you from starting your FAFSA application.

What other information do I need?

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your parents' Social Security numbers, if you're a dependent student.
  • Your driver's license number.
  • List of names and addresses of all the schools you've attended.
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen.
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents, if you are a dependent student.
  • IRS 1040.
  • Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ.
  • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau.
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans, non-education benefits for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student.

    What should I expect in completing my FAFSA?

  • You may be able to complete the application in 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how comfortable you are with technology and how prepared you are with documents needed to complete.
  • The 2021–22 FAFSA will require income data for 2019. The government requires your financial information from the prior year to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  
  • You may be eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), which allows you to directly transmit your financial information from the IRS website into your FAFSA! (No more logging back in to update after filing taxes!)
  • Not everyone is eligible to use the IRS DRT, and the IRS DRT may not input all the financial information required on the FAFSA form. Therefore, you should have your 2019 tax return and 2019 IRS W-2 available for reference.

How can I get help filling out my FAFSA? 

If you need help filling out the FAFSA form, use these free tools:

  • Select the blue and white question mark icon next to a FAFSA question to view a "tool tip" that provides information about how to answer that question.
  • In the online FAFSA form, you can select the "Help" button at the top of the page to reach the "FAFSA Help" page, where you can view trending FAFSA topics, browse FAQs, search for more information or select "Contact Us."
  • Once you select "Contact Us," you'll have the option of emailing your question or, during business hours, chatting (in English or Spanish) with live technical support staff.
  • Contact the financial aid office at the college or career school you plan to attend. 

How can I get in touch with Hocking College's Financial Aid Department?

Hocking College's Office of Financial Aid Services is located in the Student Service's Concourse on the first floor of John Light Hall. The staff can assist students during the following walk-in hours:

  • Monday - 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday through Friday - 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Also, please be aware that the Financial Aid office's busiest times are two to three weeks before the start of a semester and two weeks after the start. During this time, response to phone inquiries is limited. 

The way to communicate with the office is through your Hocking College email account. Students are assigned their own counselor based on the first letter of their last name.  

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