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How do I apply for federal student aid

<h1>How do I apply for federal student aid?</h1>
<p>The process for determining federal student aid eligibility is separate from the process of applying for admission to college. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the basic application that is used to apply for federal student aid.</p>
<ol>
<li>Understand that applying for financial aid is FREE at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Any time you need more information, you can visit Federal Student Aid at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov or call us at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can also talk with your high school counselor or the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend. Just remember that financial aid is provided to help students pay for college, so you don&acute;t need to pay to apply. You should never have to pay for help.</li>
<li><strong>Get a Federal Student Aid PIN.</strong> (PIN lets you electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and make corrections to your application. To apply for a PIN or for more information about the PIN go to www.pin.ed.gov.</li>
<li><strong>Gather your documents.</strong> You will need income information like tax returns and W-2 forms. Having these documents will make applying much simpler. For a full list of what you need go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you haven&acute;t filed your tax return when you&acute;re ready to complete the FAFSA, estimate your tax information and correct the information later.</li>
<li><strong>Check deadlines.</strong> Although you can complete the FAFSA between January 1 and June 30 of the following year to get federal student aid, deadlines for college or state aid are usually much earlier. Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible on or after January 1 to meet college and state aid deadlines.</li>
<ul>
<li>Submit 2009-2010 Corrections on the Web forms by midnight Central Daylight time, September 21, 2010</li>
<li>Submit 2010-2011 FAFSA on the Web Applications by midnight Central Daylight time, June 30, 2011</li>
<li>State deadlines are normally much earlier than Federal deadlines.</li>
</ul>
<li><strong>Check your SAR</strong> After you submit your FAFSA, Federal Student Aid will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is a summary of your data and provides information on the status of your FAFSA. Review your SAR and, if necessary, submit changes or corrections.</li>
<li><strong>Verification process</strong> The colleges you list on your FAFSA receive your information once your application has been processed. Sometimes these colleges need to verify the information that you provided on your FAFSA, so they may ask you to submit tax returns or other documents. This process is called verification. Be sure to submit the documentation to your college by the deadlines or your federal student aid will be delayed.</li>
<li><strong>Follow up with colleges</strong> Make sure the financial aid office at your college has all the information needed to determine your eligibility.</li>
<li><strong>Receive award information</strong></li>
</ol>