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What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a student’s eligibility for need-based federal and state financial aid for college, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Completing your FASFA is as important as completing your college application, and it’s free to apply. We highly recommend you complete your FAFSA as early as possible to ensure you receive the maximum amount of aid available to you.

To ensure that the schools you are interested in can create your award package, your application must include the school codes of the colleges and universities you are considering attending.  

GovState’s school code is 009145.

Please note: If you are an Illinois resident but are ineligible for federal aid as an undocumented student, you can still apply for state assistance. The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act became law in January 2020. Find out whether you should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid instead of the FAFSA.

Why #DoTheFAFSA?

1) The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important step in the “Financial Aid equation.” If a student wants to be considered for federal and state aid (which may include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans), the FAFSA must be completed. Often other aid (institutional and external) requires a FAFSA to be completed as well.

2) It's Money for College! Filing a FAFSA automatically qualifies you for low-interest federal student loans of at least $5,500 a year, provided you have not reached borrowing limits. Don't lose money you are entitled to.

3) More Money for College! Illinois MAP grants are tied to completion of the FAFSA or Alternative Application. Grants are education dollars that you don’t have to pay back. This year’s MAP recipients are eligible to receive up to $8,400. As always, MAP is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you wait to apply, the money could run out, so fill out your FAFSA/Alternative Application as soon as you can.

4) Graduate Earlier! Students can now graduate sooner by taking summer classes. Learn more about summer financial aid.

5) It's Easy.
How easy? Find out how easy.

Students Who Did the FAFSA

Trelissa Moses
D’eandre Sellers

What’s Required?

• An FSA ID. If you do not already have one, make sure to create your account. What if I forget my FSA ID?
• Your Social Security Number

• Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

Find out if your parent(s) or spouse will need to be contributors (contribute their info on your FAFSA form).

- If you are required to add contributors to your FAFSA, you will need to know their full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, and email address to add/invite them.

- If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own account. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, all users/contributors must have an FSA ID and password to fill out the FAFSA, even those without a Social Security Number (SSN).

• 2022 federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned.

• Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)

• Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

Whose tax information should I provide? 

Generally speaking, if you are 23 years old or younger, you are considered a dependent student. You will report your and your parents' information.

If you are 24 years old or older, you are generally considered an independent student. You will report your own information (and, if you're married, your spouse's).

These are general guidelines. Visit the Federal Student Aid webpage to view full information and determine your dependency status.

Important Note: All Contributors must provide consent to have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional; beginning with 2024-2025, it’s required. What Does It Mean to Provide Consent and Approval on the FAFSA?

When Should You #DoTheFAFSA?

The FAFSA needs to be completed annually, and the earliest date it is available is October 1. There are no national deadlines, but Illinois declares an arbitrary deadline each year, to determine eligibility for the state MAP Grant. Students are encouraged to complete their FAFSA as early as possible to maximize their chances at getting the most aid. 

FAFSA/Alternative Application – Information Sessions

Do you need help understanding and navigating the new FAFSA or Alternative Application? Join the GovState Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at one of these virtual information sessions, where financial aid professionals will walk through the FAFSA/Alternative Application process, and make sure you understand what is required of you to complete your FAFSA/Alternative Application and maximize your opportunities for financial aid for the upcoming school year.

RSVP for a FAFSA/Alternative Information Session! Sessions will be offered on the following dates:

Monday, April 22, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Virtual
Wednesday, May 15, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Virtual
Thursday, June 6, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Virtual
Friday, July 12, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Virtual

Please note: These information sessions will provide an overview of the FAFSA and Alternative Application, but will not be a hands-on workshop. If you are looking for an opportunity to complete your FAFSA or Alternative Application with Financial Aid staff on-site, check out our FAFSA/Alternative Application Completion Workshops!

FAFSA/Alternative Application – Completion Workshops

Please join the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for one of our FAFSA/ALTERNATIVE APPLICATION COMPLETION WORKSHOPS! These workshops offer students an opportunity to get started on the FAFSA or Alternative Application with Financial Aid staff on-site to assist with any questions! Spanish assistance will also be available on select dates.

RSVP for a FAFSA/Alternative Completion Workshop! Workshops will be offered on the following dates:

Wednesday, April 24, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Cube, D2430D*
Thursday, May 9, 3 - 4 p.m. The Cube, D2430B
Friday, May 24, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Cube, D2430B
Monday, June 3, 3 - 4 p.m. The Cube, D2430B*
Tuesday, June 18, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Cube, D2430C*
Wednesday, July 3, 3 - 4 p.m. The Cube, D2430B*
Thursday, July 18, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Cube, D2430B*

*Spanish assistance provided / Asistencia en español será disponible durante estos días.

Governors State University
1 University Parkway, University Park,
IL 60484-0975
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708.534.5000 | Contact

Phone: +1 708.534.4480