What's the FAFSA?


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. Complete the form online. You use it to apply for Federal student financial aid, such as grants and student loans.

How do I apply?

Five Easy Steps to Qualify for Federal Financial Aid

  1. Apply with the FAFSA
    You can complete this application online at fafsa.ed.gov, or get a paper FAFSA form from our financial aid office, your local library, or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can apply beginning January 1 of the year you plan to attend school, until June 30 of the following year. Apply early!
  2. Keep a copy of your application
    Make a copy of your application (or print out a copy of your online FAFSA) so you’ll have one for your records. Save all other records as well, in case there’s a need to verify the information you reported.
  3. Verify your information on your Student Aid Report (SAR)
    Depending on what method you used to fill out your FAFSA, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be mailed to you or provided online. This report confirms the information you reported and states your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.
  4. Contact Us
    Talk with your financial aid adviser at CollegeAmerica. Make sure we have the information needed to determine your eligibility. We will review your SAR, and we will contact you with the amount of federal financial aid you qualify for. We can also refer you to other potential sources of financial aid.

What information will I need to provide?


The following checklist will help you gather the information you’ll need to complete your FAFSA. By keeping copies of this information, you’ll save yourself time later when you apply for private aid, as many sources require this same information. Also, you can download our guide to financial aid.

  • Your Social Security number (you can find this on your Social Security card)
  • Your previous year’s federal income tax return and that of your spouse, if you are married and filing separately
  • Any records showing money earned in the previous tax year that doesn’t appear on your previous year’s return
  • If you’re a dependent student, your parents’ previous year’s federal income tax return
  • Any foreign tax returns or tax returns from Puerto Rico (if applicable)
  • Your previous year’s untaxed income records, including Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans’ benefits records (if applicable)
  • Your previous year’s bank statements
  • Your previous year’s records for investments, business, and mortgage (if applicable)
  • Your alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • If you want CollegeAmerica to put together a financial aid plan for you, enter our school code (025943 or 031203 in Arizona) on your application

Helpful FAFSA Hints

  • Read all the school information carefully. If you have any questions about costs or other important information, contact our financial aid department for the answers you need.
  • Complete your paperwork carefully and completely, following the instructions closely.
  • Pay close attention to deadline dates, so you won’t miss out on aid awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Answer any letters or email you receive right away. Otherwise, you may miss a deadline.
  • Keep copies of everything, including forms and communications both sent and received relating to your application.
  • Reapply for financial aid by the deadline each year to maintain eligibility.

Still have questions? We’ll walk you through the process. Call us at (800) 622-2894 to request more information.