Tips for Filling out the FAFSA

Apply for a PIN.

Both the student and the parent will need to apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN. This PIN allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. You can apply for a PIN at the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid PIN website.

Filling out the FAFSA is free.

If a website asks you to pay to fill it out, you are not dealing with the official Federal Department of Education FAFSA site. The official government site is

Gather the documents needed to apply.

The FAFSA asks for information about you, the student, as well as your parents if you are considered dependent. This information includes your social security number, legal name, date of birth, address, and information about your financial situation. If you filed taxes, you will need data from your taxes (or estimated information), W-2 information, records of untaxed income, asset information, etc. For more instructions about filing the FAFSA, visit the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.

Don’t wait until you’ve filed your taxes to fill out the FAFSA.

You can fill out the FAFSA with estimated information and then correct it once you have filed your taxes. You can even transfer your information directly from the IRS by using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval tool. Check out this video on how to upload your tax information from the IRS website IRS Data Retrieval Video.

Make sure identifiable information is entered correctly.

It’s important that you enter information such as name, date of birth, and social security numbers correctly on the FAFSA. Incorrect information can cause the FAFSA to reject and delay the entire process.

Enter your school code.

You can list up to 10 schools on the FAFSA. Evergreen will not receive your FAFSA unless we are listed. We cannot consider your FAFSA on-time if you add us later. Evergreen’s school code is 008155.

Double check everything.

Go back and check the figures and information you entered. Adding or leaving out a zero on income figures or other dollar amounts can cause your eligibility to be calculated incorrectly.

Sign your FAFSA.

If you don’t sign your FAFSA, the federal processor will reject your application. If you are a dependent student, you and your parent will both need to sign the FAFSA for it to be considered complete and official. You can sign your FAFSA by using your Federal Student Aid PIN.

Review your student aid report.

After your FAFSA is processed, you can access your Student Aid Report (SAR) by logging back into the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid FAFSA website. The SAR contains important information about your financial aid eligibility, terms, conditions, and whether or not you were selected for verification. If you were selected for federal verification, you will be asked to supply schools with more documentation.