(This post originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com)
In case you haven’t heard, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on October 1st this year. That means that it’s time for high school seniors to fill out the FAFSA. If you don’t think you need to fill out the FAFSA, you need to read I won’t qualify for financial aid, why should I fill out the FAFSA? The Department of Education estimates the average time to complete the FAFSA, including gathering documents, to take two hours and it is two hours well spent. If you find yourself needing some help with the FAFSA, try these resources first.
Free FAFSA Web Resources
Start with the People Who are Responsible for the FAFSA
The FAFSA website has several resources that can help you with the FAFSA. You can estimate your eligibility for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA4caster. You can also print out the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to help you get your information organized before you start the application.
Federal Student Aid-Filling Out the FAFSA
Download the Complete the FAFSA for a detailed guide to completing the application including help on specific questions.
NerdWallet has a FAFSA tutorial along with guides for various family situations. Users can also submit questions to be answered by the website’s counselors.
Khan Academy has a paying for college section that includes a video walkthrough of the FAFSA as well as the PROFILE.
The FAFSA Help Guide takes you through filling out the FAFSA by showing each screen of the online application. You have to fill out contact information to get the PDF version but you can use the website version without having to give your information. You can go through the online version to see if it’s worth the trouble to download the PDF.
EducationQuest FAFSA Tutorial
This can be very useful since it’s easy to tab through the sections with all the questions listed on the site. It’s easy to click on the area you need more information.