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Completing the FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA , short for FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that must be filled out in order to apply for federal financial aid.  If you are a  US citizen or permanent resident applying for financial aid you must fill out this free form each year. 

My parents are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents, can I still apply for federal aid?

YES.  If you, the student, are a US citizen or permanent resident you are eligible for federal financial aid whether or not your parents are US citizens or permanent residents.  (Note: Your parent(s) should enter all zero’s for the question on what their social security number is.)

What information is asked for on the FAFSA?

The FAFSA will ask for the following types of information

  • Student Demographic Information
  • Parent Information
  • Student and Parent Financial Information
  • School Selections

We have created a FAFSA checklist which highlights what data you should gather in order to help you complete your FAFSA

How do I apply ?

The FAFSA form should be filled out at  You are able to complete the form after October 1st of the year prior to the one you are applying for aid for. You, and at least one parent, should create an FSA ID at Your FSA ID is used as your electronic signature for the FAFSA.  You do not need to wait until October 1st to apply for your FSA ID

Can I see the questions that will be asked prior to filling out the FAFSA?

YES.  You can print a FAFSA on the web worksheet from This form can allow you to take time to organize and answer questions prior to sitting down at your computer to complete the FAFSA

Is there help available if I have questions while filling out the FAFSA?

YES.  There are a number of ways that you can receive help completing your FAFSA form. 

  • College Goal Sunday - There are numerous dates in November through February where volunteers are available at sites across the country to help you fill out your FAFSA form, for free. To find a location near you search online for “College Goal Sunday” and your state name.
  • Financial Aid Office - You can contact our office with questions.  We are open M - F , 9am - 5pm and can be reached at 617-495-1581.
  • FAFSA Hotline - The department of Education can help answer questions by calling 1-800-433-3243 .  There are also “help & hints” for each question as you complete the FAFSA.

Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.