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Get Ready to File

Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 of your senior year in high school and each year you intend to attend college. To complete the FAFSA you will need access to your parents' tax returns (if you are a dependent student) or your own return (independent students). Use the new FAFSA WHEN? Calculator to figure out when to file and which tax return to use.

Before you start your FAFSA, prepare all the information you will need to complete it by following the steps below. Don't skip the worksheet step; it will help you learn what types of questions you must answer about yourself, about your parent(s) (if you are a dependent student), as well as which documents you should have available while completing the FAFSA online.

  1. DownloadNew window icon and complete the FAFSA On the Web Worksheet.

  2. Create your FSA ID.

What is an FSA ID?

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) website at fafsa.gov.

Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don't give your FSA ID to anyone-not even to someone helping you fill out the FAFSA. Sharing your FSA ID could put you at risk of identity theft!

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.

3. Start the FAFSA Transfer Module.

If you use our transfer module, information pertinent to the FAFSA that you have entered in your CollegeInColorado.org profile will be transferred automatically into the FAFSA, saving you some typing. Alternatively, you can go directly to the FAFSA WebsiteNew window icon.