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Apply for Federal Aid

Students working in campus computer lab

Everything begins with the FAFSA — that’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You will get used to talking about the FAFSA, because you file one for every academic year. With one application, you’re applying for several different types of federal aid.

Applying Online at FAFSA.gov


The online FAFSA application takes less than an hour if you have all your documents. The FAFSA is necessary to be considered for grants, loans, work-study, and some need-based scholarships.  

Submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA if you plan to attend fall 2017, spring 2018, summer 2018. You’ll use your 2015 tax information to answer the income questions.

Submit the 2018-2019 FAFSA if you plan to attend fall 2018, spring 2019, summer 2019. You’ll use your 2016 tax information to answer the income questions. We highly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax information directly into the FAFSA.

Filling Out FAFSA



  1. Request a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) for yourself and at least one parent if you are a dependent student.
  2. Complete the FAFSA  as early as October 1.
  3. Use IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax data directly to FAFSA.
  4. Submit the FAFSA by the February 15 priority date. Submissions after this date are still considered for loans and grants only.
  5. Access your Student Aid Report (SAR) to view notifications regarding your aid eligibility.
  6. The Boise State school code is 001616.

Set up an FSA ID


An FSA ID is needed to submit your FAFSA, access federal websites and sign your loan promissory note. It also serves as your legal signature and is tied to your Social Security number. If you’re a dependent student, at least one parent needs an FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA and apply for a parent PLUS loan. You’ll only create your FSA ID once, but will use it often as a student.