Tips to Complete the FAFSA

At this point in your college search process, you may be looking into how to finance your college education, including completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After all, submitting the FAFSA form is the single best way to maximize your funding options for college!

This year, the FAFSA form was released in December (instead of the usual October release) and there have been several changes made to the form as part of the FAFSA Simplification Act. The changes include fewer questions, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and a more streamlined application process.

While the goal of the act is to simplify the FAFSA application process, we understand the changes can cause confusion and stress for students and their families. In this blog, we provide some tips to ensure Meredith receives your FAFSA.

More FAFSA resources

Tip #1
Gather all the information you’ll need to complete the form.

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Legal name
  • Tax documents from two years ago

Tip #2
Similar to past years, you and your parents will need an account, or an FSA ID, to complete the FAFSA. The process to sign up for an account is the same as prior years.

Tip #3
Enter Meredith’s school code (#002945) on the form to ensure we receive your data for aid eligibility.

Tip #4
Leave no blanks on the form. Unless instructed to do so, make sure all blanks are filled in, even if that means entering in a “0”. Read the FAFSA instructions carefully.

Tip #5
File your FAFSA form by the priority deadline (see table below). Submit your form as soon as possible. Students who apply by the priority deadline maximize their funding options. However, you should still apply even if the priority deadline has passed.

Type of Student FAFSA Priority Date Estimated Mailing of Financial Aid Offer Letter*
First-Year Early Decision March 1 Late March
First-Year Early Action March 1 Late March
First-Year Regular Decision March 1 Late March
Transfer March 1 Late March

If you are an international or undocumented applicant, you should submit Meredith’s Institutional Aid Application.

Our financial aid office is available to help. Contact your Meredith financial aid counselor or call (919) 760-8565 if you have questions.

*Because of significant Department of Education processing delays, Meredith will not have information about FAFSA submissions or financial aid until at least mid March. Once FAFSA data is released to us, Meredith is committed to sharing financial aid information as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

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1st Floor, Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8581
(919) 760-2348

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