Who Needs to Complete the FAFSA

Information That Needs to be Included on the FAFSA

The FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year is available NOW!

It is important to have a discussion of who needs to include information on the FAFSA. The majority of high school seniors are considered dependent students, based on their age. Thus, students will complete the FAFSA with their information as well as that of their biological or adoptive parents. Students do come from many different family situations; therefore, different scenarios and suggestions on how to handle filing the FAFSA for each situation are noted below:

Married Parents: Both Parents will provide their income and asset information on the FAFSA.

Divorced or Separated Parents: The parent that the student has lived with the most during the prior year (referred to as the custodial parent) will provide his/her information on the FAFSA. If a custodial parent remarries following a divorce, then that parent’s new spouse needs to include his/her financial information as well, and it will be taken into consideration when determining aid eligibility.

Non-Custodial Parent: In the case of a divorce or separation, this is the parent that the student did not live with during the prior year (or spent lesser amount of time during the prior year). For the FAFSA specifically, at the time of this guide’s printing, the FAFSA does not require information on the non-custodial parent.

Single Parent or Widowed Parent: This parent provides his/her information; if they have married/remarried, then the spouse’s information is required as well.

Foster Parents and Court-Appointed Legal Guardians: In this situation, only the student will complete the FAFSA with just his/her information, and will check off their appropriate status on the FAFSA and will be considered to be an Independent Student.

The FAFSA instructions provide detailed guidelines on whom should include their information on the FAFSA so be sure to read the instructions carefully when completing the FAFSA.

For a complete overview of the financial aid application process and college financing tips, check out Financial Aid Sense: A Practical Guide about college financial aid.

"Financial Aid Resource Book"

See related articles about the FAFSA including:

FAFSA Timing and Helpful Tips

Helpful Documents for Completing the FAFSA

Student Aid Report

Correct FAFSA Website

Federal Aid Verification

College Goal Sunday



Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author