Is the FAFSA Free?

Q: Is the FAFSA application free or does it cost money? Should I pay someone to help me fill out the FAFSA?

A: No, the FAFSA is 100 percent free and you should never pay anyone a fee to help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

There are several web sites that offer to complete the FAFSA for a fee, but there is no reason to pay for these services.

Completing the FAFSA can be somewhat difficult and you will need help from a parent. The FAFSA requires that a parent enters his or her tax information from last year.

If your parent has not completed his or her taxes yet (or does not have his or her W2 form yet) it is OK to estimate what the income was from the previous year. After the FAFSA has been submitted, you can go back and make corrections.

If you apply using FAFSA on the Web at, you get online instructions for each question, and you can chat live online with a customer service representative. Another source of free help is the online guide, Completing the FAFSA.

FAFSA help is available for each page of the FAFSA application. If you need help with a specific question, click on the NEED HELP? link located at the bottom of every FAFSA page.

Whether you apply online or use the paper FAFSA, you can get free help by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the telephone number(s) listed below or by contacting the financial aid administrator at your college.

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC):

1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
(TTY 1-800-730-8913)

Various Web sites do offer help filing the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Department of Education. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that we provide for free.

You can also get one-on-one help from a customer service representative by clicking on the Live Help link at the top of the FAFSA page.

FAFSA Tips to Receive MORE Financial Aid

How Do I Get a FAFSA PIN Number?

Which Student Loan Is Best?