For new and returning college students, summer is the perfect opportunity to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

If you are new to the world of college financial aid, FAFSA is the form you need to fill out to get any financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college. Each year, more than 13 million students who file the FAFSA get more than $120 billion in grants, work-study, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education. At Broward College, more than 85 percent of first-year students received federal financial aid in the form of federal loans and work-study programs. The cost of your college education shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your higher education goals, and neither should completing your FAFSA.

Filling out the FAFSA requires patience and attention to detail. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Broward College has Financial Aid Specialists standing by to help you with the FAFSA. From creating an FSA ID to answering questions about FAFSA eligibility, Broward College is here to make sure you get the funding you need to make the most of your college experience.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints and key concepts on completing the FAFSA. The sooner you get started, the better your chances of securing the financial aid you need to achieve your education dreams.

Apply Early

Many states and colleges use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for non-federal student aid funds that may have early deadlines or limited funding. The sooner you complete the FAFSA the more aid you could be eligible for. The FAFSA typically opens on October 1 each year for the following academic year.

Gather Your Documents

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has compiled a FAFSA Checklist to learn what you'll want to have on hand when you sit down to fill out your FAFSA. Essential items include your Social Security Number, driver’s license, W-2 forms, federal income tax, and bank statements. For a full list of required items, read this helpful NASFAA  checklist.

Double Check Everything

Once you’ve filled out your FAFSA form, give it a thorough once over to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes. Missing or incorrect information can delay the processing of your FAFSA form and potentially reduce the amount of financial aid you receive. Mistakes can delay your application and limit the amount of aid you are eligible to receive. If a field requires an entry, don’t leave it blank. Enter “0” or Not Applicable.” Also, make sure you list a correct Social Security Number or driver’s license number. Double check everything. To view a list of the most common FAFSA errors, click here.

Get Help

For in-person FAFSA help, students can attend a FAFSA workshop on one of Browarrd College’s three main campuses. Workshops run Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Workshops are also available online on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Current students may schedule an appointment on BC Navigate, and new students can stop by the campus or join the Qless virtual line. No appointment is needed.

Below is a helpful list of tips that will get you started on your FAFSA journey. For example, did you know that if you filed a 2021 tax return, you could choose the option to have your tax information automatically imported into your FAFSA? This will save you time.

For students who need even more resources, Broward College has an archive of financial aid self-help videos and articles on its FAFSA webpage.

Complete your FAFSA and get ready for the fall semester. To register for classes, visit the College’s registration resource page.


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