Training Resources

Federal Student Aid (FSA) provides a variety of ways to obtain training to successfully administer and manage Title IV federal financial aid.

Federal Student Aid Handbook this is online and easy to access for information.

Title IV Participation Application

To participate in federal student financial aid programs and be initially designated as an eligible institution for other Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) programs, postsecondary institutions must apply for initial approval. Institutions also use the application process for recertification, reinstatement, change in ownership, designation as an eligible nonparticipating institution, and other updates required to be communicated to the Department. The Department uses the application information to examine three major factors about the school: institutional eligibility, administrative capability, and financial responsibility.

Application and Verification

The laws governing the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs require that a person complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans. The Central Processing System (CPS) produces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the results of the eligibility matches, and information about aid history. Typically, the financial aid office is responsible for authorizing disbursements by awarding aid through the need analysis and packaging processes. Because applicants sometimes make errors on their application, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections, called verification.

Postsecondary institutions use the Electronic Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (e-App) to apply for designation as an eligible institution, initial participation, recertification, reinstatement, change in ownership, or to update a current approval. Updates include changes such as, but not limited to, name or address change, new location or program, increased level of offering, and change of officials.

Visit FAA Access to start a student’s FAFSA form, correct a processed FAFSA form or continue working on a saved FAFSA form or correction. You can also view students’ Student Aid Report (SAR) information, compare two Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) transactions, enter identity verification results, and more.

Use the Federal School Code Search to search for colleges. If you don’t know the Federal School Code, you can instead search for the college or career school by selecting the state and entering the school’s name and/or city.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form completed by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. The FAFSA is different than CSS Profile, which is also required by some colleges. The CSS is a fee-based product of the College Board and is used by the colleges to distribute their own institutional funds, rather than federal or state funding.

Maintain Eligibility

Title IV eligible schools must have a current program participation agreement (PPA), signed by their president, chief executive officer, or chancellor and an authorized representative of the Secretary of Education. With the PPA the school agrees to comply with the laws, regulations, and policies governing Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. After being certified for FSA program participation, the school must administer FSA program funds in a prudent and responsible manner to maintain eligibility.

PEPS maintains eligibility, certification, demographic, financial, review, audit and default rate data about schools, lenders, and guarantors participating in Title IV programs. PEPS produces a weekly data extract of select school data as well as other helpful reports.

Audit Submissions

A school that participates in any Federal Student Aid (FSA) program, including a participating foreign school, generally must have an independent auditor conduct an annual audit of the school’s compliance with the laws and regulations that are applicable to the FSA programs in which the school participates (a compliance audit) and an audit of the school’s financial statements (a financial statement audit). Audit requirements also apply to third-party servicers, FFEL Program lenders, lender servicers, guaranty agencies (GAs) and GA servicers.

EZ-Audit is a web application that provides schools and entities with a paperless, single point of submission for compliance audits and financial statement audits.


Creating an Account

We strongly recommend you create your account before starting your FAFSA form. Your account username and password combination, called your FSA ID, gives you access to certain information online and allows you to sign your FAFSA® form and promissory notes electronically. While you can get your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA form online, getting it ahead of time and using it to fill out the FAFSA form on cuts down on errors and delays. Find out how to get an FSA ID and what to do if you forget your FSA ID.

Important note: If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA form will also need an FSA ID so that your parent can sign your application electronically. If your parent doesn’t have a Social Security number (SSN), your parent won’t be able to create an FSA ID (which requires an SSN). This means you’ll have to select the option to print a signature page when you get to the end of your FAFSA form on

Creating your FSA ID before you begin the FAFSA® form only takes a few minutes and could prevent processing delays.

Tip: Use your FSA ID to start your FAFSA form.

When you create your FSA ID, be careful to enter your name and Social Security number exactly as they appear on your Social Security card. Then, if you go to to start your application and indicate that you are the student, you will be given the option to enter your FSA ID or to enter your “identifiers” (your name, date of birth, and SSN).

If you log in with your FSA ID, certain information (including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth) will be automatically loaded into your application. This will prevent you from running into a common error that occurs when your verified FSA ID information doesn’t match the information on your FAFSA form. Additionally, you won’t have to provide your FSA ID again to sign your FAFSA form electronically or to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) if you’re eligible.

The student is the one applying for financial aid, so be sure it’s the student entering their FSA ID in the “I am a student and want to access the FAFSA form” section. Do not start the FAFSA form by supplying the parent’s FSA ID in the student role.

Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply

The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA application:

  • Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information, tax documents, or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
    • IRS Form1040
    • Foreign tax return or IRS Form 1040-NR
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student

Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail these supporting records to us.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form allows you to apply for federal grants, work study funds, and loans, all in one application. You can fill out the online form for either the 2023–24 or the 2022–23 academic year by selecting the “Apply Online” button below. Using the online form is more efficient, and therefore strongly encouraged. Using the online form is more efficient, and therefore strongly encouraged.

If you must download and fill out a paper FAFSA form, please be sure to select the correct academic year desired. Links for those are below as well.

2023-24 (FAFSA®) Form

For borrowers who want to apply for federal grants, work study, and loans for the 2023–24 school year—you can use the 2023–24 FAFSA® form.

Note for users who fill out the PDF form: The Department of Education strives to make all content accessible to everyone. While these documents do not currently meet the standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Federal Student Aid is working to create accessible versions. If you need access to this document before the accessible versions are available, please contact the Information Technology Accessibility Program Help Desk at to help facilitate.

Apply Online in English or   Spanish

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The MPN is a legal document you must complete promising to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees. The terms and conditions of your loan(s) are also included in the form. Make sure you select the right form for your situation. We recommend borrowers use the online form (button below). For those who are unable to fill out the online form, we’ve also provided links to the paper forms below.

Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

For undergraduate or graduate students—you can complete and sign this MPN form.

Direct PLUS Loans

For borrowers who are graduate students and parents of undergraduate students—you can complete and sign this MPN form.

Does FAFSA have a deadline? YES

The FAFSA deadline is at midnight Central Time (CT) on June 30 of the academic year or the end of the academic year (the last day of enrollment), whichever comes first. However, you can make corrections to the FAFSA after it closes, but they must be submitted by mid-September, about two and a half months after the June 30 deadline.

FAFSA sets the general eligibility requirements for financial aid, which include being a US citizen or eligible non-citizen. If you have questions about your eligibility, check with

When you apply for the first time, FAFSA shares your financial information with the schools you intend to apply to. Once you’re accepted and have determined which college or university you plan on attending, your school will determine your financial aid package. FAFSA will then fund the school through a disbursement, and the school will in turn put your aid toward your tuition and fees. Any remainder will be transferred directly to you for books, housing, and other education-related expenses. 

Each school tends to align its financial aid deadlines with FAFSA’s annual deadline, though there may be some discrepancies. It’s important to understand when you need to submit your application. Each academic year, the deadlines for FAFSA remain relatively similar. You can begin submitting your application on October 1, and the deadline is June 30.

We’ve gathered important information on the FAFSA and its deadlines here, though you should consult the Department of Education’s resources for the most up-to-date, complete information. In this article, we’ll go over how to find out your states and college’s respective deadlines, and why it’s best to submit your FAFSA as early as possible. 

A servicer shall maintain policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve the objectives and rules of the federal government.

When you finish filing with FAFSA to determine how much federal aid you qualify for, the Department of Education will assign you a loan servicer. A student loan servicer, such as Fed Loan Servicing, can help you manage your account and repay your student loans once you’ve graduated or stopped attending college

What is Student Loan Servicing?

When you finish filing with FAFSA to determine how much federal aid you qualify for, the Department of Education will assign you a loan servicer. A student loan servicer, such as Fed Loan Servicing, can help you manage your account and repay your student loans once you’ve graduated or stopped attending college. After this point, your loan provider will bill you and collect your payments.

Student loan servicers also provide assistance with other situations as well, such as creating repayment plans, which will be discussed later, and can provide help on consolidating multiple loans and deferring loans. In addition, Mint offers a loan repayment calculator that provides a better understanding of how long a loan takes to pay off.

Servicers responsibilities: reporting to the Federal Government
(1) Accessing and providing timely and accurate information. …

(2) Properly evaluating loss mitigation applications. …

(3) Facilitating oversight of, and compliance by, service providers. …

(4) Facilitating transfer of information during servicing transfers. …

 (5) Informing borrowers of the written error resolution and information request procedures. …

  1. Policies and procedures.A servicer may determine the specific policies and procedures it will adopt and the methods by which it will implement those policies and procedures so long as they are reasonably designed to achieve the objectives set forth in § 1024.38(b). A servicer has flexibility to determine such policies and procedures and methods considering the size, nature, and scope of the servicer’s operations, including, for example, the volume and aggregate unpaid principal balance of mortgage loans serviced, the credit quality, including the default risk, of the mortgage loans serviced, and the servicer’s history of consumer complaints.
  2. Procedures used.The term “procedures” refers to the actual practices followed by a servicer for achieving the objectives set forth in § 1024.38(b). The servicer will be responsible for gathering all the information that is required as well as information on the parents, spouse or significant other.

The student must maintain transparency when applying for the grant.

The servicer is responsible to report all documents and to make sure they are accurate.