In particular, The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is vital in getting college financial aid. However, filling out the FAFSA can become more complex when your parents are divorced or separated.
Understand your parents living situation
If your parents have divorced or separated and are still living together, you will need to include the financial information of both parents. If your parents have obtained a divorce and no longer live together, your will need to identify the custodial parent when you fill out the FAFSA. The federal government defines the custodial parent as the one you have lived with the most in the past 12 months. FAFSA only requires the financial information of a custodial parent. However, some colleges and universities may require the financial information of a non-custodial parent for their financial aid packages.
Gather essential documents
To get started, you will need to collect all the necessary documents. You will need to gather personal information for yourself and your custodial parents. This personal information includes all of the following:
- W-2 forms
- IRS 1040s
- Social Security numbers
Complete the FAFSA online
The federal government makes the FAFSA available online. Follow these steps to complete the form online:
- Access the official website at fafsa.gov.
- Create an account.
- Follow the prompts to enter your personal information and your custodial parent’s details.
- Pay attention to accuracy and completeness.
Completing the 2023-2024 FAFSA with divorced parents plays a vital role in financing your college education. The process can become complex, and you need to allow time to ensure you can meet your school’s financial aid deadlines.