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How to File Your FAFSA

Establish IDs for the FAFSA

Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when processing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents. You will use your FSA ID multiple times over numerous years. Be sure to save your FSA ID in a secure but accessible location. 

Create an FSA ID

Gather Documents Needed to Apply

Documents you may need include:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your parents' social security number (if you are a dependent student)
  • Your driver's license number
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a US citizen
  • Federal tax information or returns for yourself and your parents (if dependent).  The IRS data retrieval tool makes this step simple.  See help below on how to use this tool.
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits for you and your parents
  • Information on cash savings and checking account balances, investments including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live), and business and farm assets for you and your parents

Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is free to fill out, and it’s required yearly. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal and state need-based financial aid.

TCU’s FAFSA code is 003636. 

Allow about an hour to complete this application. We highly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to save time entering tax information.

Find more detailed instructions for completing the FAFSA.


 Complete the FAFSA

How to Transfer Your IRS Tax Information Directly into Your FAFSA

You may have received an email from Federal Student Aid recommending that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA. If for any reason the Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, you can manually enter your tax information into your FAFSA.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers your IRS tax information directly into your FAFSA.  To use the Data Retrieval Tool, complete the following steps:

  • Go to www.studentaid.ed.gov and select the “Start Here” button or “Log In” button to correct or add information.
  • Log in using your FSA ID
  • Select the “Financial Information” tab from the top of the page

Instructions for the parent to request the parent IRS information:

  1. Go to “Parent Financial Information” page
  2. Answer the questions in the first box to see if you eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  3. If eligible, select which parent is providing information on the FAFSA
  4. Enter the FSA ID for the parent providing the information
  5. Click “Link to IRS”
  6. For your privacy, the tax information your transfer from the IRS into your FAFSA form won’t be visible to you. Instead, you will see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields on studentaid.ed.gov, the IRS DRT web page, and on the Student Aid Report.

Instructions for the student to transfer student IRS Tax Information Directly into FAFSA

  1. Go to “Student Financial Information” page
  2. Answer the Questions in the first box to see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  3. If eligible, click “Link to IRS”
  4. For your privacy, the tax information you transfer from the IRS into your FAFSA form won’t be visible to you. Instead, you will see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields on studentaid.ed.gov, the IRS DRT web page, and on the Student Aid Report.
  5. Proceed to the Sign and Submit page.

Don’t Forget to Register for Selective Service

If you're a male aged 18-25 living in the U.S., chances are you must register to be eligible for federal student aid.

Learn More