FAFSA applicants are free to complete and open opportunities for Pell Grants and Subsidized Student Loans.
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Savannah Koplon
For many high school and undergraduate students, thinking about financial aid and scholarship opportunities for the upcoming academic year is paramount. If you are uninformed about resources and processes, applying for free federal student aid — known as FAFSA — can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task. But knowing your eligibility, staying organized, and preparing ahead of time can make the process easier.
Check if you are eligible
All U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to complete Form 2023-24 FAFSA request. To be an eligible non-citizen, you must have a green card, an arrival/departure record known as I-94, qualified alien status as a battered immigrant, a T visa, or a parent with a T-1 visa.
Offenses such as incarceration, misdemeanors, arrests, and involvement in serious crimes can affect a student’s financial aid. Minor infractions can limit the programs students are eligible for, and more serious infractions can disqualify a student altogether.
Gather these documents
To complete the FAFSA, the most important documents you will need are your social security number, alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen, record of your federal tax returns, and W- 2 from your parents and yourself. The app will also ask you for the record of other sources of money such as veterans benefits, child support, food stamps, and savings.
When you fill out the application, make sure you have a list of the colleges you plan to go to and their codes.
Meet these deadlines
The FAFSA application cycle for the 2023-24 academic year began on October 1, 2022. The deadline for submission is June 30, 2024. However, it is important to note that each college has its deadline. Check with the colleges you are interested in to ensure submissions are accurate and timely.
Note that some funds are limited, so apply as soon as possible. The priority deadline for UAB is December 1, 2022.
Follow these tips
- Before completing the application, create a FAFSA ID. If you are considered a dependent student, your parents will also need FAFSA ID.
- Use the IRS Data Recovery Tool, which allows filers to import IRS data directly into the FAFSA application, making the process faster and more secure.
- Be sure to read the definitions of terms you don’t understand and answer the questions accordingly.
- Indicate family size correctly. Family size includes you, your parents, your parents’ other children, and anyone else who lives with your parents.
- Be sure to enter your information in the student section and your parents’ information in the parent section.
- Be sure to sign your FAFSA and receive a submission receipt.
- Once you submit your FAFSA, you will receive your results through your Student Aid Report. Make sure the report is accurate and complete.
Important Notes for UAB Applicants
To ensure your FAFSA is sent to UAB, you will need code 001052.
It is important that you verify that your FAFSA has been received by UAB. Once you submit it, the Financial Aid Office will receive and process your FAFSA beginning in November or within three to five business days of completing your FAFSA and submitting your information to UAB. Check receipt of your FAFSA on the My Financial Aid tab of BlazerNET. Other helpful resources and verification information are available at FAFSA Verification Page.
Now that you are aware of the eligibility, requirements and deadlines, apply now at https://studentaid.gov/.