The FAFSA®, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the main application form for financial aid from the federal government (provided by the U.S. Department of Education at fafsa.gov). It is also used by many states, colleges and universities to determine eligibility for their financial aid programs.
In order to finalize your FAFSA® on fafsa.gov, you (and a parent, if necessary) must sign the completed application. You can do so electronically, using an "FSA ID," or you or your parents can print out a signature page, sign, and mail in a hard copy. The FSA ID route is faster and, generally, a bit easier, though requires going through the process of creating an FSA ID account, keeping track of a password, etc.
It is possible for a parent and student to use different methods for signing the FAFSA®, though the Dept. of Education will not process the submission until all signatures are received. There is no penalty to signing in different ways and some parents (those without social security numbers) are not able to use the FSA ID system to sign.
If signing your FAFSA® with a printed signature page, make sure to log back into your account in 10-14 days time to check your application status. (After you log into your FAFSA®, your application status will be presented on the first page.)
Additionally or alternatively, you can contact the financial aid office at the college or colleges you are interested in to verify that they have received your financial aid information.
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As a reminder, federal and state government operate financial aid programs. Many have their own applications, FAFSA® being the most important one. Mos is not affiliated with the Department of Education or any state agencies. Mos helps students with their FAFSA® for free, and the FAFSA® is also always available from fafsa.ed.gov.