2019-20 FAFSA is Now Open!

FAFSA Filing Pro Tips

  • Apply every year online at fafsa.gov
  • Make sure we get your FAFSA, add our school code: 003896
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
    • You will not see the information after it has been transferred from the IRS.
    • You will receive a letter in the mail letting you know that the DRT has retrieved your tax information.
  • If your unable to use the DRT, pay careful attention when manually entering your information. Use 2017 federal tax information ONLY!
  • Make sure ALL information is accurate, especially the fields not retrieved from the IRS
  • Avoid these common FAFSA mistakes
  • Make sure your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) is set up correctly so you can sign the FAFSA. Learn more about your FSA ID below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA?

The acronym FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the first step to determining if you’re eligible for most state and federal financial aid. You can get a more detailed overview of the process by watching this short video:

Which semesters are covered by the 2019-20 FAFSA?

At UWM our school year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term. That means if you wish to be considered for aid for Summer 2019, make sure you submit a 2018-19 FAFSA. If you plan to attend for the Fall 2019, Winter 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020 terms you should be completing the 2019-20 FAFSA.

What year's tax information do I provide?

If you are submitting the 2019-20 FAFSA, you are required to use your 2017 tax information. Most filers can link directly to the IRS and use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The DRT takes the guesswork out of transferring your information from your tax return to the FAFSA. It also lets the Financial Aid office know the information is the most accurate it can be.

What is the benefit of filing early?

Filing now means no mad dash in August to get everything completed before the Fall semester begins. If you’re a current student, filing in October is a great time because you’ll also be on campus in case you need to ask our office any questions. You may have witnessed long lines or experienced increased wait times at the beginning of the most recent semester. Avoid that next year by filing ASAP!

When will I be offered financial aid for 2019-20?

Awarding for new Panthers-to-be is anticipated to begin January 2019! If you’ll be starting at UWM in Fall 2019 keep an eye on your UWM e-mail account for a notification of your award.

Current Panthers! Don’t think we have forgotten about you! Since financial aid is based on your academic performance and how much you have borrowed so far, your award packages for next year get a little trickier. We plan to have awards out to you in April 2019!

Once you submit your FAFSA, be sure to monitor your PAWS to-do list! If you’ve been admitted, you have submitted your FAFSA, and there is nothing on your to-do list, all that’s left is to be patient! We will work to award as many students as quickly as possible.

Is there a deadline for submitting the FAFSA?

The final date to submit a FAFSA is June 30 AFTER the academic year is over. However, you must still be enrolled in classes for financial aid to be offered. Please keep in mind, some financial aid programs run out of funding right away, apply early to give yourself the best chance at receiving all types of aid.

What is the FSA ID?

The FSA ID and password are your method for signing the FAFSA. This log in information also doubles as your username and password for other federal student aid sites such as NSLDS.ed.gov and studentloans.gov. Here are some tips for making sure you set yours up correctly:

  • Create while completing the FAFSA or in advance here.
  • Do not create an FSA ID for anyone else.
  • Do not use the same email as anyone else when creating.
  • Keep a record of your FSA ID to use throughout your academic career.
  • Check out this video and this handout for more FSA ID specific tips!