Common Mistakes You Can Avoid on Your Financial Aid Application (FAFSA)

Avoid mistakes on your FAFSA application and get the most of all your financial aid opportunities

Here are some of the most common mistakes students/parents make — and that you can avoid.

  • Remember to sign the application.  Be sure both, student and parent (if applicable due to dependent status) use the PIN to sign the FAFSA at the time the application is complete.
  • Students/Parents often forget to report all required sources of untaxed income.  You should include Social Security, child support, and welfare benefits (includes TANF and earned income credit)
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to transfer your (and parent/spouse) income directly into your FAFSA from the IRS.
  • Divorced parents sometimes include their ex-spouse’s income.  They should list only their own income and that of their current spouse.
  • Be sure to round numbers to the nearest dollar (to help with this, use the IRS DRT within the FAFSA).
  • Make sure you follow the instructions!