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How to Complete the FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, short for FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that all U.S. citizens or permanent residents must fill out in order to apply for federal financial aid each year.

Which fafsa should i complete?

The FAFSA opens every year on October 1.

  • Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA for the following semesters:
    • Spring 2021 & Summer 2021
  • Complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA for the following semesters:
    • Fall 2021, Spring 2022 & Summer 2022

What information is needed for the FAFSA?

The FAFSA will ask for the following types of information:

Information you’ll need

Information about yourself:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number (if you are an eligible noncitizen like a U.S. Permanent Resident)
  • Your federal income tax returns (if you filed a tax return).
    • For the 2020-2021 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2018
    • For the 2021-2022 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2019

Information about your parent(s):

  • Social Security Number
  • Their federal income tax returns (if they filed a tax return).
    • For the 2020-2021 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2018
    • For the 2021-2022 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2019

How to Apply

The FAFSA form should be filled out at or through the myStudentAid app in the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android). You are able to complete the form after October 1 of the year prior to the one for which you are applying for aid.

You, and at least one parent, should create an FSA ID at Your FSA ID is used as your electronic signature for the FAFSA. You do not need to wait until October 1st to apply for your FSA ID.

Can I see the questions that will be asked prior to filling out the FAFSA?

YES. You can print a FAFSA on the web worksheet from This form can help you organize and answer questions prior to sitting down at your computer to complete the FAFSA.

My parents are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents; can I still apply for federal aid?

YES. If you, the student, are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident you are eligible for federal financial aid whether or not your parents are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. (Note: When prompted for your parent(s) social security number on the form, you should enter all zeros.)

Other Helpful Resources

There are a number of ways that you can request help completing your FAFSA form.

  • NMC Financial Aid Office - You can contact our office with questions. We are open Mondays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (231) 995-1035.
  • FAFSA Hotline - The Department of Education can help answer questions by calling (800) 433-3243. There are also “help & hints” for each question as you complete the FAFSA.

Sign up for a FAFSA Completion Appointment

Schedule an appointment for 1-1 assistance filling out the FAFSA.

Students without an NMC ID

Students with AN NMC ID