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Apply for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

Things to Know Before You Fill Out the FAFSA

1. We recommend every student fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA for 2017–18 is available beginning Oct. 1, 2016. For maximum consideration of financial aid, submit your FAFSA by the following dates:

  • New Students: February 15, 2017
  • Returning Students: March 15, 2017

2. Apply for state grants.

  • Pennsylvania residents should apply for the Pennsylvania State Grant by May 1, 2017. For detailed application information visit the PHEAA site.
  • If you are a resident of a state other than Pennsylvania, check with your state grant agency.

3. ****The IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been discontinued for 2017-18 due to security concerns.  For further information visit the IRS site. It will be available to use for the 2018-19 FAFSA.****

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax information into the FAFSA. It will securely transfer your federal tax information directly from the IRS to your FAFSA. If this tool is not available, please manually input your tax information. 

You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrievel Tool if you and/or your parent(s) did any of the following:

    • Filed an amended 2015 federal tax return (1040X)
    • Did not file a 2015 federal tax return
    • Are married but filed separately
    • Are separated from your spouse but filed jointly
    • Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return

4. Have the following information ready to enter into the FAFSA:

  • Penn State’s federal school code: 003329
  • You and/or your parent(s)' 2015 federal tax information, including adjusted gross income, earnings from work, income tax paid, etc.
  • You and your parents social security numbers and names exactly as they appear on your Social Security card.
  • Your alien registration number (eligible non-citizens only).
  • Your valid driver’s license number (if you have one).
  • Know who your parent is—dependent students are required to provide their parent(s) tax information on the FAFSA. For reporting purposes, "parent" means your legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person determined to be your legal parent. This flowchart from Federal Student Aid will help you determine who to report as your parent.
  • If you are a married independent student, then you would need the above information for you and your spouse.

5. While filling out the FAFSA, be careful to enter:

  • Your name and social security number exactly as it appears on your Social Security card (include suffixes and your middle name/initial).
  • Your parent(s) name and social security number exactly as it appears on their Social Security card (including suffixes and middle name/initial).


 Check out our FAFSA tutorials for more help and information on filling out the FAFSA


After Your FAFSA is Submitted

We may need to contact you for documentation to verify some of your FAFSA information. Please respond quickly (requests will come from the Office of Student Aid) to ensure timely disbursement of your student aid.


Are you ready to fill out the FAFSA?

Fill out the FAFSA

Penn State Federal School Code











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