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Answered By: Sara Stambaugh, Digital Services Librarian
Last Updated: Apr 25, 2016     Views: 188

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is free. You should never pay to complete it.

The FAFSA collects demographic and financial information to determine financial aid eligibility.  

The FAFSA runs from 7/1-6/30 each year. Students need to complete a new FAFSA each year to determine eligibility moving forward.  To complete, visit

Your FAFSA should be completed after you have filed your taxes.  We recommend utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to transfer your IRS income information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. This ensures accuracy and completeness and can make for a more simplified financial aid process.  This tool/option generally becomes available 2-3 weeks following an electronic tax filing or 6-8 weeks following a paper filing.   

Please note this tool will not be an option for applicants who are married but filed separate returns, for those who had a change in the marital status after the end of the tax year, for those who filed a foreign tax return or for those who filed an amended tax return.
If you fall into one of these categories, you can request an IRS tax transcript at:

Students will need to add a school code to their application for the school to gain access to view it.  Rasmussen’s school codes can be found at:

Questions? Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

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