Financial Aid Home

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Start Here: Intro to the FAFSA

Start here! CU-Boulder's Office of Financial Aid will walk you through how to apply for a federal student aid PIN and go over the documents you'll need to complete the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We'll also explain what to do if you haven't filed your taxes yet and how to get started with the online FAFSA application.

Step 1: Student Demographics

Step 1 guides you through the student demographic section on the FAFSA. Follow along as we go through basic questions about you, the student, as well as some of the trickier questions like marital status and citizenship status.

Step 2: School Selection

This video shows you how to select CU-Boulder on the FAFSA as a school you're interested in attending. By indicating your interest in CU-Boulder, our office will receive your FAFSA info and be able to send you an estimated financial aid award letter.

Step 3: Dependency Status

In Step 3 we will go over what constitutes a dependent vs. independent student, who will need to provide parental information, and what is considered a special circumstance.

Step 4: Parent Demographics

This video will help guide you through the FAFSA's parent demographic section. We'll explain which parent's information you'll need on the FAFSA and who to include in your household size.

Step 5: Financial Information

The Financial Information section on the FAFSA requires income tax information from both the student and the parents. If you are an independent student, you'll follow the same steps shown in this video, but you will only be required to provide your financial information. We will take you step-by-step through this section and explain how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. We'll also show you where to find information on your W2 form, what qualifies as an asset, and where to look for help if you get stuck.

Step 6: Sign and Submit

Step 6 covers how to sign your FAFSA using your federal student aid PIN. Both the student and the parents are required to sign the FAFSA before submitting it online. Independent students will not need parental signatures.

Step 7: Confirmation

This last step shows the confirmation page you'll receive immediately after signing and submitting your FAFSA online. We'll go over what to expect next, explain how to make changes to your FAFSA after it's already been submitted, and show you how to update financial information after filing your taxes using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.