FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Your path to financial aid starts here!

The FAFSA is your staring point for higher education financial aid. Most students fill out the form in 30 minutes.

This one form puts you in reach of $120 billion in student aid provided by each year the U.S. Department of Education. If you wait too long fill out the FAFSA, you may come up short!

Fortunately, there's help at every corner — within the FAFSA form, on the FAFSA and many other websites. Watch the video on this page! You'll soon be on your way.

Upcoming FAFSA Workshops

Please join one of our virtual 2023-2024 Financial Aid Workshops! We will be able to assist you and your family to complete your FAFSA/CASFA.

Watch for registration links on the Events website.

  • Thursday March 23, 2023 at 6:00 PM MT

Fill Out Your FAFSA!

Apply early for higher opportunity for assistance!

CMC Federal School Code: 004506
Use 2020 taxes for 2022 Fall and 2023 Spring and Summer terms
Use 2021 taxes for 2023 Fall and 2024 Spring and Summer terms 


State aid is available for qualified students including those without lawful immigration status. Use the CASFA Form.

Filling out the FAFSA — Avoid these Common Mistakes

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 FSA ID 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 or students 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!


What if I get locked out of my FSA ID?

You will need to reset your password through Student Aid.

Watch Troubleshooting your Account Username and Password (FSA ID)

What is the easiest way to put my financial information on the FAFSA?

By using the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)! While you can manually enter in all of your and your spouses/parents tax information on the FAFSA, it is easier if you are able to use the DRT.

Will my parents' contribution be less if any of my brothers or sisters are also continuing their education beyond high school?

Generally speaking, yes. Your parents' contribution might be lower if both parents are working, and about 50% lower if they are helping more than one of their children through college or career school at the same time. This will be changing in the 2024-25 year. More information is still to come.

My parents are divorced (separated). Which parent should complete the financial aid application?

The parent who should complete the application is the one with whom you lived for the longest period during the last 12 months.

If you didn't live with either parent, or lived with each parent for an equal number of days, the application should be filled out by the parent who provided the most support for you during the last 12 months.

"Support" means money for such things as housing, food, clothes, transportation, medical and dental care, and school.

Who is considered a Parent for my FAFSA?

Grandparents, foster parents and legal guardians are not considered parents on the FAFSA unless they have legally adopted you.

Watch FAFSA: Determining your Dependency Status

Do I have to provide my parents information on the FAFSA form? See Filling Out the FAFSA® Form/Dependency Status



Is a step-parent expected to complete the financial aid application even though they feel no responsibility to support my education?

Federal programs and CMC expect a step-parent's information to be included on the financial aid application.

How does the whole Financial Aid process work?

Watch this brief Overview of the Financial Aid Process video (above) from Federal Student Aid or checkout this graphic description on their How Financial Aid Works webpage.