Step One collects personal identification information. This step
includes a question about citizenship status because you must be a U.S. citizen
or eligible noncitizen to receive federal aid.
Questions 1-3 Name - Your name, along with
other identifying information, is used to confirm eligibility with other federal
databases. Because the Department matches each name and Social Security Number (SSN)
with the Social Security Administration (SSA), the name provided here should
match the name on your Social Security card. If you use a name other than the
name on your Social Security card (such as a nickname), you will receive a
comment about the inconsistency, which may delay awarding your aid.
Questions 4-7 Permanent Mailing Address -
You must give a permanent home mailing address (not a school or office address).
An incarcerated student may use his or her school's administrative address. If
such a student uses a school's administrative address, the school's financial
aid administrator (FAA) must include a letter with the FAFSA indicating that the
student is incarcerated and is therefore using the school's address.
Questions 8 Social Security Number (SSN) -
Generally, you must have a Social Security Number (SSN) to be eligible for
federal student financial aid. If you submit a FAFSA without an SSN, your FAFSA
will be returned to you unprocessed.
The Privacy Act Statement gives information about how your SSN
may be used.
To apply for an SSN or to get a replacement Social Security card
if yours has been lost or stolen, contact your local Social Security office. For
additional information (in English or Spanish), you can call the SSA at 1-800/772-1213
or go to their web site at http://www.ssa.gov
The one exception to the SSN requirement is for
students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of
Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau. If you do not have an SSN, you can contact
an FAA for assistance or send your FAFSA to the following address - not to the
address on the FAFSA or the FAFSA envelope:
Federal Student Aid Programs
P.O. Box 4003
Mount Vernon, IL 62864-8603
Questions 12-13 Driver's License Number and State -
You must provide your driver's license number or the number on the
identification card issued by your state Department of Motor Vehicles. If you do
not have a driver's license or identification card, enter "no" in the
question that asks whether you have a driver's license and leave the driver's
license number and state questions blank.
Question 14 Citizenship Status -
receive federal student financial aid only if you are a U.S. citizen or an
eligible noncitizen. If you have changed from a noncitizen to a citizen and have
not already done so, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update
your status with that agency. Otherwise, the SSA may report that you are not a
citizen, and you will have to provide citizenship documentation before receiving
For financial aid purposes, an eligible noncitizen
is one of the following:
- a U.S. permanent resident who has an Alien Registration Receipt Card
- a conditional permanent resident (I-551C),
- a noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure record (I-94) from the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service showing any one of the following
designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite
Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian
You are neither a citizen nor an eligible noncitizen
if you are in the U.S. on
- an F1 or F2 student visa, or
- a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or
- a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), or
- any other temporary U.S. visa
which means you are not eligible for federal student aid. However, you may be
eligible for state or institutional aid and may therefore wish to complete the
Question 15 Alien Registration Number (ARN) - If you are an eligible
noncitizen, enter your eight- or nine-digit ARN. Leave the first space blank if
you have an eight-digit ARN.
If you answer "yes" to the question asking whether you are a U.S.
citizen, do not write an ARN in this question. If an ARN is present, the
Department will check with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to confirm
Question 16 Marital Status - Your marital status directly
affects how your income and assets are treated in the EFC
calculation. Marital status cannot be projected-you must report
your marital status as of the date the application is completed.
Question 17 Date of Marital Status - You should enter the date you
married, divorced, separated, or were widowed. If you never married, leave this
question blank. If your current marital status is "divorced," enter
the date you separated or became divorced, whichever was earlier.
Questions 18-22 Enrollment Status - A financial aid
administrator (FAA) will look at your expected enrollment status as a factor in
determining your financial aid package. The amount of your financial aid award
depends on whether you're a full-time or part-time student and whether you
attend school for a full academic year or less. If you change your enrollment
status, your FAA may be able to adjust your award to reflect this change,
depending on the timing of the change, how much aid is available, etc.
You should enter your expected enrollment status for the 2000-2001 school
year. If applying to more than one school, you should provide the enrollment
status and school terms that apply to the school you are likely to attend and
list that school first. If unsure of your enrollment status, you should select
For undergraduates, "full time" generally means taking at least 12
credit hours in a term or 24 clock hours per week. "Three-quarter
time" generally means taking at least 9 credit hours in a term or 18 clock
hours per week. "Half time" generally means taking at least 6 credit
hours in a term or 12 clock hours per week.
Questions 23-24 Father's/Mother's Highest School Level -
These questions are for state scholarship purposes only and do not
affect your eligibility for federal student aid. Some state and
institutional programs offer aid to first-generation college students. Enter the
highest grade level completed by your father and mother. "Father" and
"mother" in these questions mean your birth or adoptive parents, but
not stepparents or foster parents. Note that this definition of parents is
unique to these two questions.
Question 25 State of Legal Residence - The Department will
disclose your FAFSA information to each school listed on the FAFSA, state
agencies in your state of legal residence, and state agencies in the state in
which the school is located. State and institutional programs may use the
information provided on the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state and
institutional aid. Your state of legal residence is also used in the EFC
calculation to determine the appropriate allowance for state and other taxes
paid by that state's residents.
Provide your state of legal residence. Residency (domicile) is your true,
fixed, and permanent home. If you are a dependent student, the state of legal
residence is usually the state in which your parents live. If you moved into a
state for the sole purpose of attending a college, do not count that state as
your legal residence. Use the State
Abbreviations List to provide the abbreviation for your state.
Question 26 Legal Resident Before 1995 - States have varying
criteria for determining whether or not you are a resident for purposes of state
financial aid. However, all states consider you to be a resident if you became a
legal resident of that state more than four years ago. Select "Yes" if
you became a resident of your state before January 1, 1995 or "No" if
you became a resident of your state on or after January 1, 1995.
Question 27 Date of Legal Residence -
Your state will use
this information to determine whether you meet its specific residency criteria
for state aid. If you answered "No" to the question asking if you
became a legal resident of your state before January 1, 1995, provide the month
and year you became a legal resident of your state.
Question 28 Drug Offense Convictions - In October 1998,
Congress passed a new law that suspends federal student aid eligibility for
students convicted under federal or state law of possession or sale of drugs
(this does not include alcohol or tobacco). A drug-related conviction does not
necessarily mean you are ineligible for aid. This question is important, and
students should not leave it blank. If you have never been convicted of any
illegal drug offense, enter a "1" in the box and continue filling out
the FAFSA. Call 1-800/433-3243 or go to http://fafsaws4.fafsa.ed.gov/fotw0001/q28wksht.htm#Page1
for additional help answering this question.
All students are advised to complete and file the FAFSA. Even if you are not
eligible for federal student aid during 2000-2001 because of a drug conviction,
you may be eligible for state or institutional aid.
Questions 29-30 Selective Service Registration -
federal student financial aid, male students who are at least 18 years old and
born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service. Indicate
whether you are male. If you are male, 18 through 25 years of age, and have not
registered with Selective Service, you can enter "Yes" to give
Selective Service permission to register you. You can also register on the web
If you believe that you are not required to register, call the Selective
Service office at 1-847/688-6888 for information regarding
exemptions. Female students should leave the question asking whether they want
to be registered with Selective Service blank.
Question 31 Degree or Certificate - Write in the one-digit
code for your expected degree or certificate, using the "Degree/Certificate
Code List" below. If your degree or certificate does not fit any of these
categories, or if you are undecided, enter "9."
- 1 - 1st bachelor's degree
- 2 - 2nd bachelor's degree
- 3 - Associate degree (occupational or technical program)
- 4 - Associate degree (general education or transfer program)
- 5 - Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or
educational program of less than two years
- 6 - Certificate or diploma for completing an occupational, technical, or
educational program of at least two years
- 7 - Teaching credential program (nondegree program)
- 8 - Graduate or professional degree
- 9 - Other/undecided
Question 32 Grade Level during 2000-2001 School Year -
Choose from the following:
- Enter 1 for 1st-year undergraduate/never attended college (high-school
seniors and/or first-time students should choose this grade level)
- Enter 2 for 1st-year undergraduate/attended college before
- Enter 3 for 2nd-year undergraduate/sophomore
- Enter 4 for 3rd-year undergraduate/junior
- Enter 5 for 4th-year undergraduate/senior
- Enter 6 for 5th-year undergraduate/other undergraduate
- Enter 7 for graduate/professional or beyond
Grade level does not mean the number of years you have attended college, but
grade level in regard to completing your degree/certificate. (For example, if
you are enrolled less than full time, it will take longer for you to reach the
same grade level than for a full-time student.)
Question 33 High School Diploma/GED - If you receive your
high school diploma or earn a General Education Development (GED) diploma or
equivalent home-school credential before you enroll in college, answer
"Yes" to this question. Otherwise, answer "No."
Question 34 1st Bachelor's Degree - This question has a
direct bearing on your eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and Federal
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which are restricted to students
who have not yet received bachelor's degrees. You must answer "yes" to
this question if you have (or will have by July 1, 2000) a degree from a college
in the U.S., or from a college in another country that is equal to a bachelor's
degree. If you incorrectly report "Yes" to this question, you will be
ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant unless a correction is made.
If you attend two different colleges during the same enrollment period, you
must notify the financial aid administrators (FAAs) at both schools. You may not
receive Federal Pell Grants at both schools.
Questions 35-36 Types of Aid - These questions ask you to
indicate what types of aid, in addition to grants, you are interested in
receiving. Please note that although the FAFSA assumes you are interested in
grant aid (aid you do not have to pay back), you are not required to accept any
grants offered to you.
Federal, state, and institutional programs all may use the information from
this question to determine what types of aid to award. If you are not sure, you
should answer "Yes" to both of these questions and will be considered
for all types of aid that are available. You can decline any aid that is later
awarded and that you do not want. If you or your parents wish to take out loans
for your education, check "Yes" to "student loans."
Courtesy of: "Completing the
2000-2001 FAFSA," from the U.S. Department of Education