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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Renewing The FAFSA

Last updated October 5, 2023

Are you a returning college student? If so, when the FAFSA opens in December it will be time to renew your FAFSA! In many states, financial aid is awarded on a “first come, first serve” basis so submitting your FAFSA or state based financial aid application 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!

 

I submitted my FAFSA last year, why do I need to renew it?

Completing the FAFSA renewal is the only way to determine your eligibility for financial aid each school year. Grants, scholarships, loans, 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 increase 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 in December, 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 and your contributors used when you originally submitted your FAFSA. This 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.) 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?

The FAFSA application now requires students and contributors to grant permission to pull official IRS information. Every year that you submit, you will receive a new FAFSA Submission Summary that will include your Student Aid Index (SAI). This number is what colleges use to determine your financial need. If the financial aid offer from your school after completing your FAFSA is not enough to help cover educational costs, you can 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 the FAFSA opens! Make sure to check if your school has their own deadline on your college’s financial aid website. 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. 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.

I submitted my renewed FAFSA - what happens now?

About 1 week after your FAFSA renewal is submitted you can check the status online. If your FAFSA has no errors your FAFSA Submission Summary will be available to review including your Student Aid Index (SAI). This is important to check as it can change each year with changes to your financial situation. If you do not see your FAFSA Submission Summary, your contributor(s) may not have completed their portion of the application, there may be an error onyour FAFSA you need to fix, or you may have been selected for verification.

Need some support as you renew your FAFSA? Text #FAFSA to 33-55-77! If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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