Tips for Completing the FAFSA

FAFSA – Tips for Completing the FAFSA Online

The quickest way to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is to complete the application online at

Following are some helpful hints for completing your FAFSA online. (For additional information please visit and

Remember – You do not need to pay to complete the FAFSA.
The FAFSA is a free application, and there is free help available!


FAFSA Checklist

  • Here is what you will need (Note: Financial and income records should be for the calendar year prior to the academic year for which you are applying for financial aid.)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your drivers license number, if you have one
  • Your W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) federal income tax return
  • Your parent’s federal income tax return (if you are a dependent student based on the FAFSA)
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Records of other untaxed income received
  • Your business or farm records, if applicable
  • If you are NOT a US citizen, your alien registration number
  • Northwest University School Code: 003783. (You will need this number if you want Northwest University to get a copy of your application.)

UPDATE NOTICE:  In order to improve security & the customer experience, the Dept of Ed has implemented a new modernized login process called the FSA ID (consisting of a username & password) that has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN.

Print the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.

Some find this worksheet helpful to be able as it allows you to read and enter your information on paper first and then transfer it online. Questions are listed in the same order that they appear on the website.


Ask for Help.

If you’re not sure about a question, there is free help available to you. Just click on any of the “NEED HELP?” buttons, or to get one-on-one help with a customer service representative, click on the “Live Help” button.

Save your FAFSA.

Use the SAVE button often to prevent losing information you have already put in. If you ever need to come back to your online FAFSA, remember to hit SAVE so that you can log back on and start right where you left off instead of having to fill in all the information again. (Your FAFSA information is saved for 45 days unless the federal application/correction deadline date has passed since the application was saved).

Sign and Submit Your Application.

You can use your FSA ID and sign your FAFSA electronically. If you don’t have a FSA ID, you can print off a signature page, then mail it in. Remember that your FAFSA is not valid without a signature. For dependent students, your FAFSA is not valid and cannot be processed without a parent signature as well.

Once you have submitted your application you should receive a confirmation number. Print the page and keep it for your records. If you do not receive a confirmation number, Federal Student Aid has not received your application.


Check your Status.

Three days after you have submitted your FAFSA, you can check the status online at Select Check Status of a Submitted FAFSA or Print Signature Page under the FAFSA Follow-Up section of the home page.

View your SAR.

You should receive a Student Aid Report (“SAR”) in the mail about three weeks after your submission, or, if you provided an e-mail address, it should be available within one week. If you remembered to put our school code in your list of schools, Northwest University will automatically receive a copy of your FAFSA, too.

Make any Corrections.

Once you receive your SAR, review it to make sure all the information is correct. If you find you’ve made a mistake you can make corrections online with your FSA ID. Log into the FAFSA using your FSA ID on then make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA.