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FAFSA Help from Chicago Scholars

Paying for college is can be overwhelming, but filling out the FAFSA is the first step for everyone. In 2023, the Federal Student Aid organization updated the FAFSA to simplify the process, and more updates have been made for the 2024-2025 academic year. Look through our FAQs below to get more information about filling out the FAFSA for yourself.

What is the FAFSA?

The Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application for all federal education funding, including student loans, Pell grants, and more. The FAFSA is required to be considered for any student loans or other aid from the federal government.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA every year?

Yes, students who want to receive federal student aid must complete the FAFSA at the beginning of each academic year while they are pursuing higher education.

What is an FSA ID? Do I need one to complete the FAFSA?

An FSA ID is an account with the Federal Student Aid department that serves as your identification for all things federal student aid. Every student and their legal guardian must have an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA.

Can I share an FSA ID with my parent/guardian/sibling?

No. Each student and parent/guardian must have their own FSA ID. Each FSA ID must be associated with a unique email address or mobile phone number. 

What if I or my parents don’t have a Social Security Number?

You should still make an FSA ID and fill out the FAFSA. For more information about how to navigate this process if you aren’t a U.S. citizen, watch these videos from the Federal Student Aid organization:

If your parent/guardian isn’t a U.S. citizen 

If you are not a U.S. citizen or don’t have an SSN

What do I do if I haven’t gotten my financial aid decision yet?

Talk to the financial aid office at your college or the colleges you’ve been accepted to. Some may grant you an extension on making your college choice; at the very least they can help you understand what your financial obligations will most likely be. 

Additional support from Chicago Scholars