FAFSA Tips

Please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the below dates to be considered for certain federal funds, grants, and need-based scholarships. The FAFSA is available each October 1 for the next academic year.

Deadlines for FAFSA Completion
Deadline Date
Priority I Deadline December 1
Priority II Deadline February 1
Early Decision December 1
Regional Campus Students, Returning Students,
New Incoming Transfer and Graduate Students
February 1

Miami University strongly encourages all students to complete the FAFSA online. The tips below can help you avoid common mistakes that could delay processing time.


Know your FAFSA ID

If completing the application online, you will need your FSA ID to sign the application electronically. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to sign. Parents should apply for their own FSA ID to sign the application. You, and your parent, will need to create a FSA ID if you do not already have one.

If you don't use the E-Signature option, you must print out, sign, and mail the signature page to the federal processor. This could add up to two weeks to your processing time.


Student is Applicant

Remember that the student is the applicant. It is the student's name, social security number, date of birth, etc., that should be included in Step One.


Use Legal Name

Use the student's legal name as it appears on his or her social security card. Parent(s) must also be sure to use their legal name as it appears on their social security card.

Carefully check your social security number. If incorrect, you will be required to submit additional documentation after the FAFSA is processed. You may even have to complete a new FAFSA to correct the error.


Use Yearly Income Amounts

You should always use yearly income amounts. Do not use monthly amounts. For example, if you receive $200 workers compensation each month, you should report $2,400.


Don't Leave Answers Blank

Don't skip questions or assume that we will know the answer to a particular question. If your answer is zero then use "0." Do not leave answers blank.


 Use IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Miami recommends using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import tax data directly into the FAFSA application. The DRT is available to most tax filers and is the easiest way to provide accurate tax information. 


View this Tutorial

View the "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A Student’s Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid" video tutorial. UC Santa Barbara creates this tutorial annually in hopes it will help families successfully complete the FAFSA.