Hoosier students and families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is now open for the 2022-2023 school year.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education reminds Hoosiers that filing the FAFSA by April 15, 2022 is imperative for securing money for college and accessing some of the $390 million in state financial aid and billions of dollars in federal aid available for learners.
“Regardless of family income, filing the FAFSA is an important first step for anyone interested in education and training beyond high school,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “It’s surprising how much money is left on the table each year because many Hoosiers assume they don’t qualify for state or federal financial aid. There is a significant amount of funding available to help with the cost of college, but you must at least have a FAFSA on file to use it.”
Filing the FAFSA is required for many of Indiana’s scholarship and grant opportunities, such as the Frank O’Bannon Grant and the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant, and many colleges require a completed FAFSA to award merit and need-based scholarships. Regardless of the degree being pursued – including short-term certificates, associate and bachelor’s degrees and higher – students should file the FAFSA to potentially qualify for available financial aid.
Currently, there are nearly 15,000 high school seniors who qualify for Indiana’s early-college promise program, the 21st Century Scholars program. Completing the FAFSA on time is a necessary step for Scholars to earn the full scholarship amount of up to four years of college tuition.
How to file the FAFSA
Students can file the FAFSA online at FAFSA.gov. The first step for students who have not previously filed the FAFSA is to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Then, each student will need:
- Social Security number
- Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)
- Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned from 2020
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
Improvements to simplify and shorten the FAFSA are coming for the 2023-24 academic year, however this year filers will notice a new look to the form, making it easier to navigate and get assistance. The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 800-4FED-AID. Hoosier families can also access free FAFSA help through INvestEd Indiana at www.investedindiana.org.