How Do I Apply for Student Aid?

You must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to apply for federal student aid. Financial aid offices use information from the FAFSA to determine whether you are eligible to receive federal grants, loans, or work-study funds. States and schools also use the information from the FAFSA to determine whether you qualify for additional aid. In fact, some schools won’t consider a student for the school’s merit scholarships until the student has submitted a FAFSA. So be sure to fill out a FAFSA even if you think you won’t qualify for federal aid. The FAFSA becomes available online on October 1.

To receive the maximum aid awards, file the FAFSA as soon as possible when the filing period begins on October 1 each year. Be sure to use the correct tax year.

To complete the FAFSA, you will need to have:

  • An FSA ID — a username and password used to securely, electronically sign your FAFSA. Applications e-signed are processed faster. You (and a parent, if dependent) can obtain an FSA ID at studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch. Save your FSA ID; you will continue to use it to file subsequent FAFSAs and to access other online federal systems.
  • Your (and your parents’, if dependent) income tax information and W2 forms from two years prior. For example, for the 2022-2023 FAFSA, you provide 2020 tax information. Did you file your (and your parents’, if dependent) tax return electronically? If so, you can access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool while completing the online FAFSA form to copy the required information from your tax return directly into the FAFSA.
  • Required information including your (and your parents’, if dependent) Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, e-mail address, asset and financial information (checking, savings, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, real estate excluding the home you live in), and untaxed income not reported on your taxes.
  • Harper College’s School Code: 003961. If you plan to apply to another school, contact that school’s financial aid office or check its website for its school code.

Now you’re ready to apply. Go to fafsa.gov to fill out the FAFSA. If you have any questions about the FAFSA or federal financial aid, talk to your school counselor, the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend, or the U.S. Department of Education at 800.433.3243. You can always call Harper’s One Stop at 847.925.6710.

Read more about completing the FAFSA.

Last Updated: 9/1/23