When Is FAFSA Due? Important 2022-2023 Deadlines

Written by Coursera • Updated on

FAFSA forms are completed every October with financial aid award letters released in the spring in most cases.

[Featured image] A woman fills out FAFSA application on her laptop.

There are many ways to pay for college in the US, but one of the most important is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Operated through the US Department of Education, FAFSA sets the general eligibility requirements for financial aid, which include being a US citizen or eligible non-citizen. If you have questions about your eligibility, check with FAFSA.gov

When you apply for the first time, FAFSA shares your financial information with the schools you intend to apply to. Once you’re accepted and have determined which college or university you plan on attending, your school will determine your financial aid package. FAFSA will then fund the school through a disbursement, and the school will in turn put your aid toward your tuition and fees. Any remainder will be transferred directly to you for books, housing, and other education-related expenses. 

Each school tends to align its financial aid deadlines with FAFSA’s annual deadline, though there may be some discrepancies. It’s important to understand when you need to submit your application. Each academic year, the deadlines for FAFSA remain relatively similar. You can begin submitting your application on October 1, and the deadline is June 30.

We've gathered important information on the FAFSA and its deadlines here, though you should consult the Department of Education’s resources for the most up-to-date, complete information. In this article, we’ll go over how to find out your state’s and college’s respective deadlines, and why it’s best to submit your FAFSA as early as possible. 

FAFSA deadlines

Each year, the FAFSA form for the following academic year becomes available on October 1. That means, if you plan on attending college in 2023, your FAFSA form will be available October 1, 2022—nearly one full year before you begin your studies. FAFSA is due by 11:59 p.m. CT on June 30. You must submit a FAFSA form every year you plan on attending college as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student. 

Academic yearFAFSA availableFAFSA due
2021-2022October 1, 2021June 30, 2022
2022-2023October 1, 2022June 30, 2023

Beyond the federal deadline, listed above, there are two other key FAFSA deadlines to consider when filling out your form: college and state. 

College FAFSA deadline

Each college or university has a different financial aid deadline, though many tend to align with FAFSA’s deadline. You can find yours by looking at the financial aid page of your school’s website. Conduct an internet search for your school’s name and “financial aid” to help you find that resource. Many financial aid pages also list contact information if you have questions the website doesn’t answer. 

The financial aid page is usually also the best place to find your school’s Federal Student Code, so your information will be forwarded to the appropriate school for consideration. If you can’t find it, search for your school’s name and “FAFSA code.” 

FAFSA for incoming freshmen

Submitting your FAFSA form the year before you plan to attend college can be a bit confusing, because a school will only consider you for aid one you’re an admitted student. But most colleges recommend applying for FAFSA even before you’ve been accepted so that your information is on-hand by the time you hear about an admissions decision. 

State FAFSA deadline

The last deadline to be aware of is your state’s FAFSA deadline. FAFSA.gov provides a list of state deadlines, which also include Canadian provinces and US territories. As with federal student aid, many states have limited funds and hand out assistance on a first-come, first served basis. You do not need to submit your FAFSA to your state, but you may need to submit FAFSA before the FAFSA deadline in order to qualify for state funds. 

Types of financial aid

FAFSA simplifies the process of applying for financial aid by allowing you to apply for several different types at once. With one form, you’ll be considered for grants, loans, work study jobs, and more:

  • Grants are aid that you don’t have to pay back as long as you successfully finish your degree. There are a number of grants available through FAFSA, including Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, TEACH Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. 

  • Scholarships are also awards that you don’t need to pay back, but they tend to be merit-based or intended for certain groups of people, rather than for students with financial need. 

  • Work study jobs are part-time jobs available to enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. In exchange for your labor, you’ll earn income to help cover some or most of your educational expenses. 

  • Federal student loans usually feature a lower interest rate than private loans and come with some benefits, such as flexible repayment plans like income-based repayment (IBR). The amount of money you’re allowed to borrow each year depends on what year you are in school, whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, and your dependency tax status.

Financial aid for international and trade schools

FAFSA recognizes some international schools. That means if you plan on studying abroad, be it for a semester or your entire degree, you may qualify for student aid to help you cover the cost of your program. You can find a list of participating schools on FAFSA.gov

FAFSA can also be used to obtain financial aid for trade schools and even some online degree programs. If you have questions about whether a program or school is eligible, it’s best to contact their financial aid office or a representative to learn more. 

What do I need to submit my FAFSA form?

Whether you’re applying via desktop or mobile app, you’ll first need to create a FSA ID by entering your name and social security number. After creating your ID, you can fill out your application online at FAFSA.gov, apply via the myStudentAid app, or fill out a paper version and mail it in for processing. 

Required FAFSA documents

If you are considered a dependent student, you will need to report both your financial information as well as your parent’s financial information. However, if you are an independent student, you will only need to report your financial information. Below, we’ve detailed the required and non-essential but sometimes requested information you will need to include on your FAFSA. 

To fill out your application, you’ll need to gather the following:

Required

  • Social security number or alien registration number (if you’re not a US citizen)

  • Federal tax returns, W2s, and any other documentation about your income 

If applicable

  • Bank statements and records of investments

  • Records of untaxed income

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) 

No matter the stage of your education—undergraduate, graduate, or professional—submitting your FAFSA form each year can help you qualify for financial assistance and cover either a portion or the entire cost of your degree. Let’s go over some common questions that tend to surface around FAFSA. 

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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