Printable Versions of the FAFSA

Filing the FAFSA 2017-2018 Edition Cover Paperback
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Summary: The FAFSA is available in several formats for students who prefer to fill out a paper form. You can download the PDF version in English or Spanish below. Just remember that completing the FAFSA online is easier, more accurate, and faster to process.

Printable PDF versions of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) are available for students who prefer to complete a paper form. You can download PDF versions of the FAFSA in English and Spanish below. You can also request a paper FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Most people prefer to complete the FAFSA online at FAFSA.ed.gov. The online FAFSA is easier to complete, more accurate, and faster to process. The online FAFSA has built-in edit checks that catch and correct many common errors. Plus, you don’t have to mail the form or wait for the U.S. Department of Education to receive and process the form.

Get Started with the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

Want to practice on paper before filing out the online FAFSA? There’s a worksheet designed specifically for this purpose. Plus, the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet lists the documents you’ll need to complete the FAFSA.

Download your FAFSA worksheet:

Download a PDF Version of the FAFSA

When you apply for financial aid with the FAFSA, the first thing you need to do is select the school year. For example, if you plan to attend college between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, select 2017-2018 School Year (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018).

If you are already enrolled in college and want to file for the current academic year, you should select the previous year’s FAFSA.

(If you want to apply for financial aid for a summer session, check with your college to verify which year’s FAFSA to complete. Some colleges treat the summer session as a “trailer,” tacking it onto the end of the previous academic year. Others treat it as a “header,” tacking it onto the beginning of the next academic year.)

Two Ways to Use the PDF FAFSA

There are two ways to use the PDF version of the FAFSA:

  1. Print the PDF file and fill out the FAFSA manually with a pen.
  2. Open the PDF file, type your information into the form, and then print the document. (The result is neater and easier to read. But, you won’t be able to save the data as you go.)

When you print out the PDF version of the FAFSA, print it one-sided, not two-sided. This will make it easier for the federal processor to scan the form.

Mail the FAFSA in a large envelope so you don’t have to fold it. Folding the FAFSA can add creases that may cause errors when it is scanned. Be sure to add the right postage. Oversized envelopes can require 5-6 stamps.

How the Printable FAFSA Affects Deadlines

When you submit your FAFSA on paper instead of online, it will take the U.S. Department of Education longer to process your form. This potential delay may cause you to miss your school’s published deadline.

Some schools base their deadlines on the date they receive your application from the FAFSA processor, not the date you submitted the application. Since some schools award funds on a first-come, first served-basis, filing a paper FAFSA could cause you to miss out on financial aid money from the college.

Get Your Free FAFSA Guide

If you need help with your FAFSA, Edvisors offers a free ebook on completing the FAFSA quickly and accurately. The book is available for free in PDF format:

FAFSA 2017-2018 ebookDownload the FAFSA Guide

Recommendations

  1. Use the online version of the FAFSA, if at all possible. It’s easier to complete and faster to process.
  2. If you need to fill out a paper FAFSA, complete and mail your form as early as possible so you don’t miss any state or college financial aid deadlines.
  3. Print the FAFSA worksheet first so you can practice before you complete the FAFSA.
  4. Mail your paper FAFSA in an oversized envelope with extra postage.
  5. If you need help with your FAFSA, download our free FAFSA guide.
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