To complete the FAFSA, you will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. Essentially, for the 2011-2012 school year you will need financial information from 2010.1
Here’s a list of the documents you’ll need
- Social Security Number
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration Number (ANR)
- Driver’s license number and state of issuance (if any)
- Alien registration number or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- PIN Number (which acts as your signature)
Proof of Income
- Taxable income from W-2 forms or other records of money earned or received
- Untaxed income, including workers’ compensation; child support; housing, food and other living allowances; or veterans benefits, etc.2
- Your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) Federal Income Tax Return (IRS tax form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) if you were required to file
- Foreign tax return or
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia or Palau
If you have not yet completed your tax return, you can still submit your FAFSA using best estimates. After you submit your tax return, you can correct any income or tax information that is different from what you initially submitted on your FAFSA.
Update: Beginning in February 2012, you have the option of automatically retrieving your income and tax data from the IRS and having it transferred straight into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- Bank statements
- Business and investment information; business and farm records; stocks, bonds, and other investment records (as applicable)
If you are a dependent student, you may also need records of your parents’ income information.
- The Social Security Number(s) of your parent(s)
- The income and financial records (as listed above) of your parent(s)
Be sure to keep all of the documentation that you gather to complete the FAFSA. You may need this later if your application is chosen for verification.