To file your FAFSA, you (and one of your parents, if you are a dependent) need to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This is a username and password combination that you’ll use to securely access your financial aid information and electronically sign your FAFSA.
Learn more about your FSA ID
Use the IRS data retrieval tool
When you update your FAFSA after filing your taxes, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax information directly into your FAFSA. You’ll find the IRS data retrieval tool in the Financial Information section of your FAFSA.
To use the tool to pull your tax information in automatically, you must have:
- Filed a federal tax return with the IRS
- A valid social security number
- An FSA ID
Find out if you’re eligible to use the tool
Learn how to use the tool
Enter your data by hand
If you're not able to use the IRS data retrieval tool, you can enter your data manually.
You’ll need your federal tax return and W2 form for the year before (if you file your FAFSA by December 31) or for two years before (if you file your FAFSA after January 1) AND
- Your parents’ federal tax return and W2 form if you’re a dependent OR
- Your spouse’s federal tax return and W2 form if you’re married
Use estimated data
You can file your FAFSA even if you haven’t completed your tax return yet (remember, you can apply for the next year as early as October 1). Select “Will File” on the FAFSA application and give your best guess at the numbers. After you file your taxes, you can update your FAFSA and change your status to “Already Filed.”
You’ll need your Social Security number. You’ll also need your parents’ Social Security numbers if you’re a dependent.
Not a U.S. citizen? You’ll need your alien registration number, also known as your alien number, A-Number, or USCIS#.
You’ll need information about your savings, investments, and business assets. You’ll also need information about your parents’ savings, investments, and business assets if you’re a dependent.