FAFSA First. FAFSA Now.

The FAFSA is the first step to getting financial aid

Every year, millions of dollars in financial aid goes unused because students simply don't complete the FAFSA. You don’t have to know what you want to do after high school. But you do need to keep your options open, so file your FAFSA. 

Then take a few extra minutes for a Vermont grant. Eligible students received from $1,000 to $12,500 for the 2020–2021 academic year, so look for the Vermont grant link on your FAFSA confirmation page.

Start your FAFSA application now

Apply for a Vermont Grant

The information you provide on your FAFSA will help to decide how much you'll be expected to pay for college or career school—and how much financial aid you may receive.

  • It's free. There is never a cost to complete the application at fafsa.gov.
  • No FAFSA = No money. Not completing the FAFSA might mean you will overpay for college or training. Or think that you can't afford to go.
  • Fast. Most people take less than 30 minutes to complete the form. And the FAFSA has gone mobile! Yep, there's an app. Get started.

Need help with your FAFSA, Vermont grant application, or other financial aid forms? 

VSAC can help in a variety of ways:

  1. Attend a virtual VSAC Financial Aid & Managing College Costs workshop this fall to learn about the financial aid process. 
  2. Complete your FAFSA using instructions from our “VSAC Shows You How: Filing the FAFSA” event from October 15, 2020, recorded for viewing at your convenience. VSAC counselor Carrie Harlow walks you through the FAFSA application question by question. Click to view the webinar here
  3. Check out VSAC's FAFSA Completion Guide.
  4. Schedule a 1:1 meeting with a VSAC Outreach counselor to receive personalized guidance through the FAFSA and/or any additional financial aid forms.
  5. Have a quick FAFSA question? Call our toll-free FAFSA helpline at 833-802-8722 (Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–4:30 pm).

You won't know until you fill out the FAFSA! You may be surprised to learn what aid may be available for you.

The FAFSA is the first step to being considered for:

Ready to start?

If you're ready to apply for financial aid, start your FAFSA today.

How to get started with the FAFSA

Here are some tips that will help set you up for success with the FAFSA:

VSAC counselor Soren explains how to start

  • Start early: Each October, the FAFSA is made available for the following school year. Many colleges—and VSAC’s Vermont Grant Program—make financial aid decisions on a first come, first-served basis. Submit your application as early as possible to make sure you get the most aid you can. 
  • Make sure you’re on the right site: You can apply for the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov. You should never pay to submit the FAFSA. It’s all free. Be sure the site you are using ends in .gov and not .com.
  • Check your deadlines: Schools each have their own deadlines. Vermont grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For non-Vermonters, state deadlines are available at fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to check with the colleges and career schools you’re applying to for their FAFSA deadlines.
  • Don’t be afraid to get help: There are many FAFSA resources available right here on the VSAC website—including more tips for getting started, as well as helpful videos. Tips are also available as you go through the application.
  • Know your colleges: While completing the FAFSA, you must list at least 1 college to receive your information. To be considered for a Vermont grant, be sure to list your first-choice colleges from any state in the first 3 positions. You may update your choices later to receive aid at a different school. 
  • Get ready to apply for the Vermont grant: Once you've submitted your FAFSA, it's time to apply for the Vermont grant. It’s easy.  At the end of the FAFSA you’ll see a link to complete the Vermont Grant Application. Follow the link for application instructions.

The information you provide on your FAFSA will help to decide how much you'll be expected to pay for college or career school—and how much financial aid you may receive.

Ready to start?

If you're ready to apply for financial aid, start your FAFSA today.

    Follow these steps to help make sure you’re submitting your online FAFSA application correctly:

    • Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID (username and password). You’ll need this in order to complete your FAFSA — and to be able to log in to any other FSA borrower websites. If you’re financially dependent on your parents, a parent will need to create his or her own, separate FSA ID. T

    To create your FSA ID, go to studentaid.gov and choose "Create Account." Both the student  and the parent will need their own IDs. You can also watch this video that shows you how.

    • Gather your information. Being prepared will make the FAFSA application process easier—and faster. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand for yourself, your spouse (if you’re married) and/or your parents (if you’re a dependent student):

      • Social Security number
      • Alien registration number (if you’re not a U.S. citizen)
      • Federal tax returns, including W2s (Applying for the 2021–2022 college year? Use 2019 income information.)
      • Records of untaxed income (like child support)
      • Bank records (cash, savings, checking account balances)
      • Investment information (such as stocks/bonds not in a qualified retirement plan, or investment property)
      • Your colleges: You must list at least 1 college to receive your information. You may update your choices later to receive aid at a different school. 
    • Start a new FAFSA application. With your FSA ID in hand, start your application at fafsa.ed.gov. Follow the instructions to fill out your application. You’ll see “Help and Hints” on the site throughout the application process. Refer to these whenever you have a question.

    Important: Select the correct school year when applying and be sure to sign with your FSA ID so your FAFSA will be processed as quickly as possible (If you are dependent, one parent will need to sign with their FSA ID as well).

    • Submit your FAFSA application as early as possible. Most colleges and scholarships have application deadlines that you can find on their websites or in their printed materials. Though there are deadlines you need to be mindful of, you do not want to wait to apply. Some aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis. Don’t miss out!
    • Look for a confirmation page. After you sign and submit your FAFSA, you should see a confirmation page. If you don’t see this confirmation, double check that you’ve clicked the submit button. If you provided an email address, you will receive a copy of the confirmation page by email. Be sure to keep your confirmation number with your other important financial aid information. You’ll also see a link on the confirmation page that will bring you to VSAC’s website to complete Vermont's grant application
    • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). Depending on how you submit your FAFSA application, you will receive your SAR by email or mail within 1 day to 3 weeks. Be sure to review your SAR carefully to verify all the information is accurate.
    • Make any needed corrections to your FAFSA application. If you find incorrect information on your SAR, go to fafsa.ed.gov. Look for "Returning User" and click the log-in button. Once you've logged in, click on“Make FAFSA Corrections.” Follow the instructions for correcting and resubmitting your FAFSA application.

    Special Circumstances: Every year, students and families experience unexpected circumstances that impact their original financial aid award package. A loss of a job. An increase in family size. Unanticipated medical expenses and other one-time events. 

    This is especially true for many more Vermonters this year. Families are struggling with a variety of financial and personal pressures caused by COVID-19.  If that’s your situation, you can ask for reconsideration and are encouraged to contact your college financial aid office and to the Vermont Grant program at VSAC.

    Need help with your FAFSA, Vermont grant application, or other financial aid forms? 

    VSAC can help in a variety of ways:

    1. Check out VSAC's FAFSA Completion Guide.
    2. Schedule a 1:1 meeting with a VSAC Outreach counselor to receive personalized guidance through the FAFSA and/or any additional financial aid forms.
    3. Complete your FAFSA using instructions from our “VSAC Shows You How: Filing the FAFSA” event from October 15, 2020, recorded for viewing at your convenience. VSAC counselor Carrie Harlow walks you through the FAFSA application question by question. Click to view the webinar here
    4. Have a quick FAFSA question? Call our toll-free FAFSA helpline at 833-802-8722 (Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–4:30 pm).

    Ready to start the FAFSA application?

    Get your FSA ID at studentaid.gov (choose "Create Account") and start your application now.