Gather Your Family’s Financial Documents

In order to fill out a financial aid application, you will need your family’s financial information from the year before last year. For example, if you are applying for aid for the 2017-18 school year, you will use your 2015 tax return. Start by gathering:

  • Your and your parents’ Social Security cards, alien registration, or permanent resident cards (If you or your parents don’t have any of these documents, don’t worry – you may still be eligible for California financial aid through the California DREAM Act.)
  • Your and your parents’ tax returns from the year before last. (The online financial aid applications may be able to import your tax returns directly from the IRS, so it’s easier to fill out the forms)

If your family situation is complicated and you’re not sure whether or how to include your parents’ financial information, don’t worry, we will walk you through the process in a few steps..

Due Date

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You can do it!

It can sometimes be hard to decide who counts as your "parent" for the purposes of the FAFSA. If you're not sure who to list as a parent, read this short guide!

Independent students don't need to include their parents' information. If you think you might be an independent student, check out this checklist!

If you haven't had a significant job in high school, and were always claimed as a dependent by your parents, you may have never filed a tax return for yourself. This is OK! Just gather whatever information you have, and ask your parents to do the same.

Email your parents a list of documents