What's the FAFSA?

Your gateway to federal financial aid

More than half of all college students receive federal financial aid. The FAFSA (or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an official government form that determines how much federal financial aid you may be eligible for.

How do I apply?

Five Easy Steps to Qualify for Federal Financial Aid

1. Apply with the FAFSA
You can complete the form at fafsa.ed.gov. Or you can get a paper form from your local library or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

2. Keep a copy of your application
Make (or print out) a copy of your application and save all other records as well, in case there’s a need to verify the information you reported.

3. Verify your information on your Student Aid Report (SAR)
Depending on what method you used to fill out your FAFSA, your Student Aid Report will be mailed to you or provided electronically. This report confirms the information you reported and states your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

4. Contact us
Talk with a financial planner at Independence University about the amount you qualify for. We’ll also find you other potential sources of financial aid.

5. Research private financial aid options
Check with your financial aid advisor for help finding private financial aid options that apply in your particular state. Also, download our guide to financial aid for more information.

What information will I need to provide?


The following checklist will help you gather the information you’ll need to complete your FAFSA. By keeping copies of this information, you’ll save yourself time later when you apply for private aid, as many sources require this same information. Also, you can download our guide to financial aid.

  • Your Social Security number (you can find this on your Social Security card)
  • Your previous year’s federal income tax return and that of your spouse, if you are married and filing separately
  • Any records showing money earned in the previous tax year that doesn’t appear on your previous year’s return
  • If you’re a dependent student, your parents’ previous year’s federal income tax return
  • Any foreign tax returns or tax returns from Puerto Rico (if applicable)
  • Your previous year’s untaxed income records, including Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans’ benefits records (if applicable)
  • Your previous year’s bank statements
  • Your previous year’s records for investments, business, and mortgage (if applicable)
  • Your alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • If you want Independence University to put together a financial aid plan for you, enter our school code (021108) on your FAFSA application

Helpful FAFSA Hints


  • Complete your paperwork carefully and completely
  • Pay close attention to deadline dates
  • Answer any letters or email you receive right away to avoid missing deadlines
  • Keep copies of everything relating to your application
  • Reapply for financial aid by the deadline each year to maintain eligibility
  • If you want IU to put together a financial aid plan for you, enter IU's school code (003674) on your FAFSA form

If you have any questions, contact us at (800) 917-6391.