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What You Should Know About FAFSA and Financial Aid Eligibility

FAFSA Financial Aid Eligibility

What You Should Know About FAFSA and Financial Aid Eligibility


If you’re a high school student, a single adult either living with dependents or living alone without dependents, or married you should consider filling out a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It's free to submit and doing so could gain you access to financial aid opportunities to finance your education. The U.S, Department of Education uses FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and low-interest loans for students. In addition, lots of states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine which students get financial aid.

What you need to complete the FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • FSA ID
  • Rio Salado College Federal School Code: 014483
  • Driver's license number (if you have one)
  • Alien Registration number (if you're not a U.S. citizen)
  • Federal tax return and W-2 information

If You Are Married, you will also need to include the following:

  • Spouse's federal tax return and W-2 information
  • Spouse's records of untaxed income

If You're a Dependent Student, provide your parents' information including:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Alien Registration Numbers (if applicable)
  • Federal Income Tax Returns and W-2s
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Note: Your parents will also need to obtain an FSA ID and sign the FAFSA form

Why you need to file FAFSA every year while you’re in college

If you want access to federal financial aid (which includes grants and federal loans), you must submit FAFSA during each year you're in school. It's important to file every year because:

  • You may receive more financial aid than you did last year. Financial aid is adjusted year to year. Part of those adjustments come from changes in your family's financial status. 
  • You might get free money. Some organizations use FAFSA to determine if you qualify for free college funding. Some of these scholarships and funding opportunities have a requirement that you have to file after your first year of school.
  • You might need a new federal loan. Completing the FAFSA is the only way to get federal loans.

Why you should file FAFSA early

It's a good idea to submit your FAFSA as soon as you can. Here are a few key reasons why the early bird gets the FAFSA worm:

  • It can run out. Some schools and states have limited amounts of student aid available and some of it is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you wait too long to apply for FAFSA, you may miss out on financial aid you otherwise could have received if you went for them sooner.
  • Qualify for grants. You're much more likely to qualify for federal, state, and college-offered grants if you file early.
  • It can help you with applying for scholarships. Some scholarships will request your FAFSA information, and they can have early deadlines.
  • It can help you plan your tuition payments. The sooner you complete your FAFSA the sooner you'll find out what financial aid you'll qualify for. Knowing how much you can access also lets you know whether or not you'll need to access other forms of payment like scholarships, grants, or student loans to cover the remaining cost of your education.

Do you need more information about submitting for FAFSA or have questions about financial aid? Reach out to our financial aid office's toll-free number at 480-731-8900  or go to our video chat (available 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Monday-Friday) to speak with our Financial Aid Services staff.

Video Chat Information

Zoom link:  Click link to Chat with Financial Aid Services

You can also dial in using these phone numbers.

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID:  977 895 2493

Passcode: E447XT

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