It's time to fill out the mother of all financial aid forms: the FAFSA. Don't worry, it's easier than you think. But before you sit down to complete the form, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You'll need:
- Your Social Security card and driver's license, and/or alien registration card if you are not a US citizen.
- Your income tax returns, W-2 forms and 1040 forms for the previous year. If you're married, you'll also need your spouse's documents.
- Your parents' income tax returns, W-2 forms and 1040 forms for the previous year (if you are dependent).
- Records and documentation of other untaxed income received such as welfare benefits, Social Security income, veteran's benefits, AFDC, or military or clergy allowances.
- Current bank statements, and records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments.
- Current mortgage information.
- Business or farm records (if applicable).
- Records relating to any unusual family financial circumstances, such as unusually high child care costs, death, divorce and loss of unemployment. (These aren't required, but they could influence the amount of aid received.)
- Title IV Institution Codes for each school you are applying to. You can get this code from the school, or you can use FinAid's Title IV School Code Database.
Once you've assembled all the necessary materials, filling out the FAFSA should be a fairly simple task. Remember to make copies of all documents and keep them with your copy of your completed FAFSA.
This article originally published on FastWeb.com.