By Sumiko Martinez on January 5, 2016

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is now available online for the 2016-2017 academic year. If you’re one of the millions of students planning on applying for financial aid for college, you’ll need to fill it out.

Here’s a checklist of what you need to apply.

  • your Social Security card, alien registration or permanent resident card
  • driver’s license
  • 2015 W-2 forms and other records of income
  • 2015 federal income tax returns for you (and your spouse, if you’re married)
  • your parents’ 2015 federal income tax returns, if you are a dependent student
  • your current bank statements
  • your 2015 untaxed income records
  • your current business & investment mortgage information, business & farm, stock, bond and other investment records

It’s important to make sure that you type in your name and Social Security Number into your FAFSA exactly as they appear on your Social Security card. If you get stuck or need help at any point, you can come to any of Step Up’s free FAFSA Completion Open Houses taking place between February and March this spring.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have your 2015 taxes done by the time you’re ready to complete the FAFSA, use estimated information from your 2014 tax records and log back in to update your FAFSA once your 2015 taxes are completed.

With a little bit of preparation and an early start on your FAFSA, you’ll be on your way to paying for college. Good luck!

Do you need help completing and submitting your FAFSA? We’re here to help!

Sumiko Martinez is a Community Outreach Officer with the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA). Learn more about Sumiko at sumikomartinez.com, and connect with her on Twitter @SumikoMartinez.