To apply for federal financial aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. The FAFSA form may be filed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. You are encouraged to apply online and if you choose to do so, you should also request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at http://www.pin.ed.gov/. This PIN will serve as your electronic signature as well as your access code to various Department of Education Web sites. When you request a PIN, in most cases, you will receive it instantly and be able to sign your FAFSA immediately.
The FAFSA is also available in a paper format and may be obtained by calling 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or by downloading the application at http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/fafsa_options.html.
Keep these tips in mind when completing the form.