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FAFSA Fast Facts: What you need to know

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is open for next year and parents of all college students should take time to fill it out.

INDIANAPOLIS — If students need help paying for college, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is open for the 2022-2023 school year.

Applications determine how much federal financial assistance students qualify for.

The application is 108 questions long and probably not something most people should work on after a long day. Kimberly Palmer with Nerdwallet suggests setting aside a few hours.

"You want to make sure you check your work. You don't want to rush through it, it's kind of like filing your taxes," Palmer said.

Before you sit down to work on the application, have your documents ready.

Parents will need to have tax records, child support documents, bank account balances and investments handy to complete the application. Any income you receive, Uncle Sam wants to know about.

If you can, take notes along the way. 

"You actually have to fill out the FAFSA every single year if you want financial aid. And so you don't just do it once, you do it every year that you're planning to go to school the following year," Palmer said.

The silver lining is that the application is getting shorter.

In a few years, it's supposed to go from 108 questions to a maximum of 36 questions as a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act that passed last year.

But in the meantime, Palmer suggested that all families fill out this application.

"That's because some scholarships that aren't need-based still require the FAFSA," Palmer said. 

If you have an application, loan or college application question. send it along to allison.gormly@wthr.com and we will try to get it answered for you. 

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