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Frequently Asked Questions About Renewing The FAFSA

Last updated January 23, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions About Renewing The FAFSA

Are you a returning college student? If so, starting October 1st it’s time to renew your FAFSA! In many states, financial aid is awarded on a “first come, first serve” basis so submitting your financial aid documents as soon as possible is important to ensure you receive as much financial aid as possible.

Read some common questions students have (and our answers) about renewing the FAFSA below!

Why do I need to renew my FAFSA?

Completing and renewing the FAFSA is the only way to determine your eligibility for financial aid each school year. Scholarships, loans, grants, and other forms of financial aid are only awarded to students who have already completed or renewed their FAFSA. If you don’t renew your FAFSA every year, you will likely lose out on different forms of financial aid that can significantly decrease the overall cost of college tuition and fees.

How often do I need to renew my FAFSA?

The FAFSA only applies to one school year, so you will need to renew it every year you’re in college to be eligible to receive financial aid. For example, when the FAFSA opens on October 1st, you will be applying for renewed financial aid the following school year.

How do I renew my FAFSA?

You can follow the specific instructions to renew your FAFSA here. It is important to login with the same FSA ID you used when you originally submitted your FAFSA, which will bring up a lot of the same information you completed your FAFSA with the first time, such as your personal information (email, address, etc.) and your/your family’s income and tax information. If any of that information has changed within the last year since initially completing your FAFSA, be sure to update it when renewing.

My household income/financial situation has changed since I first completed the FAFSA. What should I do?

If you or your family experienced a change in income or financial circumstances in the year since you initially completed the FAFSA, be sure to note those changes when you renew it. These changes can include things such as job loss, unstable income, and more. Providing the most accurate and up-to-date information possible is key to receiving the right amount of aid for you and your situation.

When you receive your financial aid offer from your school after completing your FAFSA, you are also able to submit a change in circumstances form. By submitting this form, you are asking your school’s financial aid office to take a closer look at your financial situation and adjust their aid offer accordingly (which will hopefully result in awarding you more money). While submitting a change in circumstances form doesn’t always guarantee that you will receive more financial aid, we recommend that you still do so.

What’s the deadline to renew?

The FAFSA renewal deadline is an important date to keep in mind, as it can give you the opportunity to access the financial aid you may need to stay in school. While the federal deadline to renew the FAFSA is typically June 30th annually, we recommend doing it ASAP after October 1st! Some forms of financial aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you renew, the more likely you are to receive the aid you need.

Note: some renewal deadlines may vary by state and school. Find your specific deadline here.

What other financial aid forms do I need to renew?

If you created a CSS profile during the previous school year, you will need to renew it as well. Unlike the FAFSA, which is always free, there is a $25 fee for completing the CSS Profile. The first report you send is included in that $25 fee, but any additional report you request will cost $16. However, fee waivers are available for students whose adjusted gross family income is less than $100,000 annually. The CSS profile opens annually on October 1, but deadlines typically vary by college. Check in with your financial aid office to learn your deadline.

Need some support as you renew your FAFSA? Text #FAFSA to 33-55-77!

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