JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Getting Started

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is now available. The FAFSA Processing System (FPS) – formerly the Central Processing System (CPS) – is scheduled to begin processing 2024-25 online applications and making Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) available to schools in the first half of March 2024, with paper/PDF applications then being processed in the following weeks.

2022 income information is used with the 2024-25 FAFSA. The student (applicant) and all contributors (which may include a Student Spouse, Parent, and/or Parent Spouse or Partner) must provide consent for tax information to be provided directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – even if the contributor didn't file a tax return. If the student or another contributor does not provide consent and approval, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

Information regarding changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA are provided on the Completing a 2024-25 FAFSA page.

Applicants first must decide which of the filing options they will use to submit the 2024-25 FAFSA:

NOTE: Because legislative rules require that consent and approval be collected and verified so that the IRS can share Federal Tax Information Module (FTIM) data with the U.S. Department of Education, initial FAFSA information for the 2024-25 and subsequent processing years cannot be submitted to the FPS via the FAFSA Partner Portal (formerly FAA Access) or Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) for third-party software. In addition, beginning with the 2024-25 processing cycle, there is no longer a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet form (in prior years, this form had provided the applicant a preview of the questions that may be asked while completing the online FAFSA form).

StudentAid.gov is mobile-responsive and the FAFSA may be completed using a mobile device.

Applicants can visit the Federal Student Aid website and click on the Apply for Aid tab to obtain detailed information about the application process and completing the FAFSA. Instructions for obtaining a PDF FAFSA or applying electronically are also provided in this section. Applicants should complete and submit the 2024-25 FAFSA as soon as possible. For the quickest results, encourage students to file electronically. At any time prior to completing the FAFSA, students (and – for dependent students – parents) must apply for their FSA ID from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The FSA ID serves as the electronic signature to be used on the FAFSA. Students (and spouses, if applicable) and parents may visit the Federal Student Aid website to create an FSA ID.

The FAFSA asks for applicants' demographic information (name, date of birth, address, etc.) and their financial situation. The following information and documents for the applicant, spouse (if married), or parents (if a dependent student) may be needed to help answer questions on the FAFSA (online or paper/PDF version).

  • Social Security numbers (SSNs) (encourage applicants to ensure it is entered correctly on the FAFSA)
  • Driver's license
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (if applicable)
  • Federal tax information or tax returns
    • W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
    • Income tax return or estimated figures (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ)
  • Records of other financial information
    • Taxable earnings from need-based employment programs (for example, Federal Work-Study)
    • Taxable student grant, scholarship, and fellowship aid (for example, AmeriCorps awards) included in Adjusted Gross Income
    • Combat pay
    • Earnings from work under a cooperative education program offered by the college
  • Records of untaxed income
    • Social Security, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), welfare, and veterans benefits
    • Child support
    • Military or other untaxed housing
    • Veterans non-education benefits
  • Information on cash, savings and checking balances
    • Stock, bond, and other investment records
    • Business and farm records
    • Current bank statements