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.

7Easysteps

This handy tutorial walks you step-by-step through the process of completing the FAFSA.
(courtesy of UC - Santa Barbara)

Important Information

FAFSA Web site - http://www.fafsa.gov

PIN Web site - http://www.pin.ed.gov

Washington State University School Code - 003800

Priority Deadline for 2015-2016 Academic Year - February 15

This tutorial walks you step-by-step through the process of using the FAFSA's IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

(courtesy of UC - Santa Barbara)

Note: FAFSA applications are processed by the U.S. Department of Education's Central Processing System (CPS) located in the Eastern Time Zone. Applications must be processed by CPS before midnight Eastern Standard Time on February 15 to meet the 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. Our priority processing deadline for the FAFSA for the 2015-2016 academic year is February 15th, 2015. The FAFSA is available for completion on the first day of the calendar year (January 1st).

Keep in mind that your FAFSA will be used for the entire academic year. So, for example, the 2015-2016 FAFSA is used for Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Summer 2016. If you have any questions as to which academic period to file, please contact our 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 fafsa.gov, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) at nslds.ed.gov, studentloans.gov, studentaid.gov, and Agreement to Serve (ATS) atteach-ats.ed.gov – you will be asked to create new log-in credentials known as the FSA ID.

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

  • It removes your personally identifiable information (PII), like your Social Security number, from your log-in credentials
  • 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
  • It gives you the ability to easily update your personal information, like your phone number, e-mail address, or your name
  • 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 studentaid.gov/fsaid.

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 deadline, 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 available.

Support Options:

The Department of Education FAFSA web site (http://www.fafsa.gov) 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 Personal Identification Number, we suggest contacting the Department of Education as well. You can find their support information on their web site (http://www.pin.ed.gov).