1. Gather Required Documents: Collect the necessary documents before starting the FAFSA process. These may include your Social Security number, driver's license, tax returns (yours and your parents' if you're a dependent student), W-2 forms, records of untaxed income, and records of any assets. 2. Create an FSA ID: Both the student and at least one parent need to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This is a username and password combination that serves as your electronic signature for the FAFSA. You can create an FSA ID on the official Federal Student Aid website. 3. Visit the FAFSA Website: Go to the official FAFSA website (studentaid.gov/fafsa) to start the application process. Make sure you're on the correct website, as there are many scams and third-party sites. 4. Start a New Application: Begin a new FAFSA application for the 2023-2024 academic year. You'll be prompted to enter your FSA ID to access and sign the application. 5. Fill Out Personal Information: Provide your personal information, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and contact information. 6. School Selection: List the schools you're interested in attending. You can list up to ten schools. Schools will use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for financial aid. 7. Dependency Status: Answer the questions that determine your dependency status. This will determine whether you need to provide parental information on the FAFSA. 8. Financial Information: Provide your financial information based on the tax year requested (e.g., for the 2023-2024 FAFSA, use tax information from 2022). You may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax information directly from the IRS database. 9. Parental Information (If Applicable): If you're a dependent student, provide your parents' financial information, including tax returns and other relevant documents. 10. Sign and Submit: Review your information for accuracy and completeness. Make any necessary corrections. Then, sign and submit the FAFSA. Both you and your parent (if dependent) will need to sign using your respective FSA IDs. 11. Confirmation and Follow-Up: After submitting the FAFSA, you'll receive a confirmation page. Save or print this page for your records. The schools you listed will receive your FAFSA information and will send you financial aid offers based on their respective timelines. 12. Renewal (If Necessary): If you're applying for financial aid for subsequent years, you may be able to use the FAFSA Renewal option. Some information will be pre-filled, but you'll still need to update any relevant data. Remember that FAFSA deadlines vary by state and school, so it's important to complete the application as early as possible to maximize your financial aid opportunities. Always refer to the official FAFSA website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.