Completing your FAFSA

One of the most essential steps of Washington State University's financial aid process is the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or what is commonly referred to as the FAFSA. Once the FAFSA has been completed, the information is processed by the United States Department of Education and the results are forwarded to the schools indicated in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). You may choose to list up to ten (10) schools to receive your SAR. These selected schools will be able to load your information.

Important Information

FAFSA Web site —


Washington State University School Code - 003800

Priority Deadlines — Click Here

Note: FAFSA applications are processed by the U.S. Department of Education's Central Processing System (CPS) located on the East Coast. Applications must be processed by CPS before midnight (Eastern Standard Time) to meet WSU's priority filing date. We encourage all applicants to apply early and not wait until the deadline to file.

First Time Filers

The earlier you file your FAFSA, the more options for aid you will have. New for the upcoming year, the 2017-18 FAFSA is available for completion on October 1, 2016.

Keep in mind that your FAFSA will be used for the entire academic year. So, for example, the 2017-2018 FAFSA is used for Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018. If you have any questions as to which academic period to file, contact your local SFS Office.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID

How to Create an FSA ID: Click Here for a helpful handout.

If you are a student, parent, or borrower and you are logging in to a U.S. Department of Education (ED) website – like, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) at,,, and Agreement to Serve (ATS) at teach - – you will be asked to create new log-in credentials known as an FSA ID.

The FSA ID – a username and password – benefits you in 4 ways:

  1. It removes your personally identifiable information (PII), like your Social Security number, from your log-in credentials
  2. It creates a more secure and efficient way to verify your information when you log in to access to your federal student aid information online
  3. It gives you the ability to easily update your personal information, like your phone number, e-mail address, or your name
  4. It allows you to easily retrieve your username and password by requesting a secure code be sent to your e-mail address or by answering challenge questions

Creating an FSA ID is simple and only takes a few minutes. You will have an opportunity to link your current Federal Student Aid PIN to your FSA ID. Doing so allows you to use your newly created FSA ID almost immediately to log in to the five ED websites listed above. Even if you have forgotten your FSA PIN or don’t have one, you can still create an FSA ID.

For more information about the FSA ID, please visit

Renewing your Application:

Once you have filed a FAFSA, the following year(s) application is much simpler. You will simply need to update your personal information and input your family information for the current year. You'll need to sign the application using your PIN and ensure that Washington State University is selected as a school of your choice. Once we receive your Student Aid Report from the Department of Education, we will begin processing your aid.

Late Filers:

If you have missed our priority deadlines, it does not mean that financial aid is not available. We encourage you to file a FAFSA, no matter how late - generally there will be some form of aid - mostly loans - available.

Support Options:

The Department of Education FAFSA web site ( has detailed instructions on completing the FAFSA. Please keep in mind that Washington State University has limited capabilities to assist students with the FAFSA process. The Department of Education has extensive support options available if you should have difficulties completing the application. If you are having difficulties with your FSA ID, we suggest contacting the Department of Education as well. You can find their support information on their web site (

Helpful Videos:

Please the Federal Student Aid website — or their Youtube Channel — for more information.



Overview of the Financial Aid Process

FAFSA Overview

How to Fill Out the FAFSA

FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status

After the FAFSA: What Happens Next

Federal Student Aid: Myths About Financial Aid

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA

Video Courtesy of the University of California Santa Barbara

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Tutorial

Video Courtesy of the University of California Santa Barbara


Other Resources: