How to Add Schools to FAFSA: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Add Schools to FAFSA

Do you know how to maximize your college funding opportunities? One crucial step in the process is adding schools to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is a government form that allows students to apply for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and student loans. By completing the FAFSA, students provide important information about their financial situation, which helps determine their eligibility for various types of assistance.

However, many students and parents may be unsure about how to add schools to their FAFSA or why it’s even necessary. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process, step by step, so that you can make informed decisions about your financial aid options.

But first, let’s understand the context. Each year, millions of students apply for college admission, and along with that comes the need for financial aid. Adding schools to your FAFSA is essential because it enables colleges and universities to access your financial information and determine the amount of aid they can offer you.

Without adding schools to your FAFSA, colleges will not include you in their financial aid processes, potentially limiting your options for funding your education. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to navigate the process effectively.

In the following sections, we will explore why adding schools to FAFSA is important, provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it, share some helpful tips, and address frequently asked questions. So let’s get started and ensure you are on the path to securing the financial aid you deserve!

What is FAFSA?

What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step in the college application process for students seeking financial aid or student loans. It is a form that is used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine an individual’s eligibility for various types of financial assistance programs, including grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and federal student loans.

FAFSA plays a vital role in helping students secure the necessary funds to pursue higher education. By completing the FAFSA, students provide comprehensive information about their family’s financial situation, allowing colleges, universities, and other organizations to assess their eligibility for financial aid packages.

Financial aid awarded through FAFSA can significantly ease the burden of college expenses, making education more accessible and affordable. It helps bridge the gap between the cost of tuition and the resources available to students and their families.

Student loans are a common type of financial aid obtained through FAFSA. These loans must be repaid with interest, but they offer reasonable repayment terms and lower interest rates compared to private loans. By filling out the FAFSA, students can access federal loan programs such as Stafford loans, Perkins loans, and PLUS loans.

College funding is a primary concern for many students and their families. FAFSA provides an opportunity to access a wide range of financial aid options beyond student loans. Grants and scholarships are also available based on merit, need, or other specific criteria. By understanding how FAFSA works and providing accurate and timely information, students can enhance their chances of receiving such aid.

It is important to note that FAFSA applications have specified deadlines, which vary by state and institution. Students are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible to maximize their financial aid opportunities. Several factors, including family income, assets, household size, and number of family members attending college, are taken into consideration when determining eligibility.

In summary, FAFSA is a vital tool for students and their families to explore various financial aid options and secure funds for college. By completing the application accurately and on time, students can increase their chances of receiving grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and federal student loans, ultimately making higher education more accessible and affordable.

Why is Adding Schools to FAFSA Important?

The process of applying to college can be overwhelming, with numerous decisions to make and countless forms to fill out. One essential step in this journey is adding schools to your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But why is it so important? Let’s delve into the reasons why adding schools to FAFSA can significantly impact your college applications, school choices, and ultimately, your financial aid packages.

College Applications

When you add schools to your FAFSA, you are essentially notifying the colleges and universities that you are interested in attending. By doing so, you establish a connection between yourself and these institutions, signaling your intent to apply and potentially enroll. This simple act demonstrates your proactive approach to the college application process, showing admissions officers that you have a genuine interest in their institution.

Furthermore, when colleges receive your FAFSA information, they gain access to your financial background. This can provide them with valuable insights into your financial circumstances, allowing them to make informed decisions during the admissions process. Adding schools to FAFSA ensures that your financial information reaches the colleges you are considering, giving them a holistic view of your situation.

School Choices

Adding schools to FAFSA allows you to explore various options and consider different college choices. Through FAFSA, you can select up to 10 schools to receive your financial information. This enables you to compare financial aid packages from multiple institutions, helping you make an informed decision about which college is the best fit for you academically and financially.

By carefully selecting the schools you add to FAFSA, you can assess the affordability of each option. Considering the costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses alongside the financial aid packages offered by different institutions allows you to weigh the pros and cons of each choice. This way, you can determine which schools are within your budget and ensure that you are making a well-informed decision about your future education.

Financial Aid Packages

Adding schools to FAFSA is crucial for maximizing your financial aid opportunities. By including a range of schools on your FAFSA, you increase your chances of receiving financial aid offers from multiple institutions. Each college or university will review your FAFSA information and create a customized financial aid package based on your financial need.

Furthermore, some colleges may have their own institutional aid programs or scholarships that are separate from federal aid. By adding these schools to your FAFSA, you open the door to potentially receiving additional financial assistance that can significantly reduce your college expenses.

In summary, adding schools to FAFSA is vital for several reasons. It demonstrates your interest in specific colleges during the application process, allows you to compare financial aid packages, and maximizes your chances of receiving financial assistance. By taking the time to carefully select the schools you add to FAFSA, you can make informed decisions about which colleges to apply to and attend, ensuring a smoother and more financially feasible college journey.

Step-by-Step Guide: Adding Schools to FAFSA

Step 1: Collect Required Information

Step 1: Collect Required Information

Before you start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and adding schools to it, it’s important to gather all the necessary information. This step ensures that you have everything you need at hand, making the application process smoother. Here are the key pieces of information you’ll need:

Personal Information

You’ll need to provide basic personal details such as your full name, date of birth, and contact information. Make sure to enter this information accurately to avoid any complications later on.

Social Security Number

Your Social Security number (SSN) is a vital piece of information required for FAFSA. It serves as a unique identifier to match your application with various federal databases. Ensure you have your SSN handy when completing the application.

Tax Returns

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, FAFSA requires information about your income and assets. This includes details from your tax returns. To make the process easier, gather your most recent tax returns (and your parents’ if you’re a dependent student) before starting the application.

It’s worth noting that FAFSA uses prior-prior year (PPY) tax information. For example, if you’re applying for aid for the academic year 2022-2023, you will use tax information from 2020. This allows you to complete the application earlier, as you won’t need to wait for current-year tax filing.

Remember to double-check the accuracy of the information provided before proceeding to the next steps. Any errors or omissions can potentially delay the processing of your application or affect the amount of financial aid you receive.


Let’s say you’re a prospective college student named Emily. She wants to apply for financial aid through FAFSA. Before starting her application, Emily gathers her personal information, including her full legal name, date of birth, address, email, and phone number. She also ensures she has her Social Security number (SSN) card at hand. Furthermore, Emily collects the tax returns for the year 2020, both hers and her parents’, as she is a dependent student.

By collecting all this required information beforehand, Emily is well-prepared to proceed with the FAFSA application smoothly. She can now confidently move on to the next steps, knowing that she has everything she needs to complete the process accurately and efficiently.

Stay tuned for our next step: “Step 2: Go to the FAFSA Website,” where we will guide you through accessing the official FAFSA website and starting your application.

Step 2: Go to the FAFSA Website

Step 2: Go to the FAFSA Website

When it comes to adding schools to your FAFSA, the first step is to visit the official FAFSA website. The website serves as a central hub for all things related to federal student aid, making it the go-to resource for millions of students each year.

To access the FAFSA website, simply open your preferred web browser and search for “FAFSA” or directly enter the URL “” in the address bar. Once you’re on the homepage, you’ll find a wealth of information and resources to guide you through the financial aid application process.

The FAFSA website is designed to provide a user-friendly experience, ensuring that students and their families can easily navigate through the various sections. To get started, you will need to create an account or sign in using your existing credentials. This login process helps protect your personal information and ensures that only authorized individuals have access to your FAFSA application.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be directed to the main dashboard, where you can begin filling out a new FAFSA application or continue an existing one. It’s important to note that the FAFSA website offers a mobile app called “myStudentAid,” which provides similar functionality and convenience for those who prefer accessing their applications on-the-go.

While on the FAFSA website, take some time to explore the various sections and resources available. You’ll find detailed instructions, FAQs, and helpful articles to assist you in completing your application accurately and efficiently. Additionally, the website offers valuable information about federal student aid programs, eligibility requirements, and important deadlines.

By visiting the FAFSA website, you gain access to a wide range of tools and resources to help you navigate the financial aid process successfully. Whether you need assistance with understanding certain terms and concepts or require guidance on specific sections of the application, the FAFSA website is an invaluable resource that ensures you stay informed and make the most of your college funding opportunities.

Remember, completing the FAFSA accurately and on time is crucial for maximizing your eligibility for financial aid. So, don’t forget to bookmark the FAFSA website and refer back to it throughout your college journey.

Step 3: Start a New FAFSA Application

Step 3: Start a New FAFSA Application

When it comes to applying for financial aid, starting a new FAFSA application is a crucial step in the process. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key to unlocking various forms of assistance that can make your college dreams a reality. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of starting a new FAFSA application and provide valuable insights along the way.

New FAFSA Application Options

To begin your FAFSA application, there are a couple of options available. One option is to visit the official FAFSA website, where you can access and complete the application online. Alternatively, you can use the myStudentAid app, which provides a convenient mobile platform for submitting your FAFSA.

Gathering Parent Information

Before starting your new FAFSA application, it’s important to gather all the necessary parent information. This includes details such as their Social Security numbers, tax returns, and other financial documentation. Having these documents ready beforehand will help streamline the application process and ensure accurate reporting of your family’s financial situation.

The Importance of Accurate Reporting

When entering parent information on the FAFSA, it’s crucial to provide accurate and up-to-date data. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility for various forms of financial aid. Any inaccuracies or discrepancies may lead to delays in processing your application or even affect the amount of aid you receive. Take the time to double-check the information before submitting your FAFSA to avoid any potential issues down the line.

Utilizing the myStudentAid App

If you choose to use the myStudentAid app for your FAFSA application, you’ll find a user-friendly interface that guides you through each step. The app allows you to easily input parent information and navigate the application process smoothly. Additionally, the myStudentAid app provides helpful resources and tips to ensure you make informed decisions about your financial aid options.

Saving Your Progress

Both the FAFSA website and the myStudentAid app allow you to save your progress and return to your application at a later time. This feature is particularly useful if you need to gather additional information or consult with your parents before completing certain sections. Remember to save your progress regularly to avoid losing any data and to complete your application in a timely manner.

Starting a new FAFSA application is an important step on your journey to securing college funding. By utilizing the available resources, such as the myStudentAid app and gathering accurate parent information, you can streamline the process and increase your chances of receiving the financial aid you need. Stay tuned for the next step in our guide, where we will discuss how to add schools to your FAFSA application.

Step 4: Add Schools to Your FAFSA

Step 4: Add Schools to Your FAFSA

When filling out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), one crucial step is adding the schools you are interested in attending. By including these schools on your FAFSA, you ensure that they receive your financial information and can evaluate your eligibility for various forms of aid, such as grants, scholarships, and loans.

FAFSA School Codes

To add schools to your FAFSA, you will need to provide their unique school codes. These codes help identify each institution correctly within the FAFSA system. The good news is that finding these codes is a straightforward process. You can access the Federal School Code Search tool on the official FAFSA website or use the myStudentAid app to search for the codes conveniently. Simply enter the name of the school you wish to add, and the tool will display the corresponding code for you to select.

Search for Schools

The FAFSA system allows you to list up to ten schools initially. However, if you need to add more than ten schools, don’t worry – you can update your FAFSA later by replacing some schools with new ones, up to a maximum limit of twelve schools.

When searching for schools to add to your FAFSA, it’s essential to consider various factors. Think about your academic goals, preferred location, campus culture, and available programs. Researching multiple schools will give you a better understanding of the opportunities available to you and help you make informed decisions regarding your education and financial aid options.

Maximum Limit

As mentioned earlier, you can initially add up to ten schools to your FAFSA. However, keep in mind that this number may vary depending on your circumstances. Some students may have specific program requirements or extenuating circumstances that warrant an expanded list beyond the standard ten schools.

It’s crucial to carefully consider your school choices and prioritize the institutions that are most relevant to your academic and career goals. By listing your preferred schools in order of priority, you increase your chances of obtaining the best financial aid package possible.

Remember, the schools you add to your FAFSA should align with your aspirations and provide you with the educational opportunities you seek. Take the time to research each institution thoroughly and ensure they offer the programs, support, and resources you need to succeed.

Adding schools to your FAFSA is a critical step that helps colleges and universities understand your financial situation and determine your eligibility for financial aid. By providing accurate information and carefully selecting your school choices, you enhance your chances of receiving the necessary funding to pursue your educational dreams.

In the next step, we will guide you through the final process of submitting your completed FAFSA application.

Step 5: Submit Your FAFSA Application

Step 5: Submit Your FAFSA Application

Once you have filled out all the necessary information and added your selected schools to your FAFSA application, it’s time to submit it. The submission process is crucial as it determines whether you will be considered for financial aid from your chosen institutions. In this step, we will guide you through the process of submitting your FAFSA application and provide you with valuable insights on what to expect.

Submit FAFSA

To submit your FAFSA, you need to review all the information you have entered for accuracy and completeness. Make sure you have provided all the required details, including your personal information, financial data, and school choices. Once you are confident that everything is correct, you can proceed with the submission.

Verification Process

After submitting your FAFSA, it will undergo a verification process. This process ensures that the information you have provided is accurate and matches the data from other sources, such as your tax returns. Some applications are selected randomly for verification, while others may require it due to discrepancies or flagged items. If your application is selected for verification, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to support the information you provided.

Confirmation Email

Upon successful submission of your FAFSA, you should receive a confirmation email. This email serves as proof that your application has been submitted and received by the Federal Student Aid office. It usually contains important details, such as your FAFSA confirmation number, which you should keep for future reference. If you do not receive a confirmation email within a few days of submission, it is advisable to contact the Federal Student Aid office to ensure that your application was received successfully.

Submitting your FAFSA application is a significant milestone in the financial aid process. It signifies that you have taken the necessary steps to be considered for college funding opportunities. However, it is essential to remember that submitting the FAFSA does not guarantee financial aid. Each institution will review your application and provide you with a financial aid package based on their own criteria.

Now that you have successfully submitted your FAFSA, you can focus on other aspects of your college journey, such as researching scholarships, exploring additional financial aid options, and preparing for the next steps in the admission process.

Note: The verification process may vary from one institution to another, so make sure to keep an eye on any communication from the schools you applied to.

Remember, submitting your FAFSA on time is crucial to maximize your financial aid opportunities. Stay organized, keep track of deadlines, and be proactive in providing any necessary documents requested during the verification process. By following these steps, you are setting yourself up for success in securing the financial resources you need to pursue your higher education goals.

Tips for Adding Schools to FAFSA

Tips for Adding Schools to FAFSA

When it comes to adding schools to your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a few key tips that can help you navigate the process and maximize your chances of receiving financial aid. From college selection to priority deadlines and evaluating financial aid offers, these tips will provide valuable insights to make informed decisions.

1. College Selection

Choosing the right colleges to add to your FAFSA is crucial. Consider factors such as academic programs, location, campus culture, and overall fit. Research the schools that align with your educational and career goals, ensuring they offer the best opportunities for success. Remember, you can add up to ten schools on your FAFSA, so be strategic in your choices.

2. Priority Deadlines

Be aware of each school’s priority deadline for submitting the FAFSA. These deadlines vary among institutions and are often earlier than regular application deadlines. By submitting your FAFSA before the priority deadline, you increase your chances of receiving the maximum amount of financial aid available from that particular school. Missing priority deadlines may limit your eligibility for certain scholarships or grants.

3. Financial Aid Offers

Once you receive the financial aid offers from the schools you added to your FAFSA, carefully evaluate them. Compare the types and amounts of aid offered, including scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans. Take into consideration the total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses. This will help you estimate how much additional funding you may need to cover any remaining costs.


Let’s say you have two schools on your FAFSA list. School A offers a generous scholarship package that covers most of your expenses, while School B provides less financial aid but has an excellent program in your desired major. In this case, you might weigh the financial benefits of School A against the academic advantages of School B. Consider your priorities and make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.

By following these tips, you can optimize your FAFSA application and increase your chances of receiving favorable financial aid offers. Remember to utilize the FAFSA website and resources available to help you throughout the process. Taking the time to carefully select schools, meet priority deadlines, and evaluate financial aid offers will ultimately ensure that you make the best decisions for your education and future success.

Note: It’s important to regularly check for updates or changes in the FAFSA process as regulations and requirements may vary each year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding FAFSA schools, changing the school list, and updating FAFSA:

Q: What are FAFSA schools?

A: FAFSA schools refer to the educational institutions that participate in the Federal Student Aid program. These schools receive funding from the government to offer various financial aid options to eligible students. When completing the FAFSA application, you can select up to 10 schools to receive your financial information.

Q: Can I change my school list after submitting FAFSA?

A: Yes, you can make changes to your school list even after submitting the FAFSA application. If you want to add or remove schools, you will need to log in to your FAFSA account and make the necessary modifications. However, it’s important to note that certain deadlines and requirements may affect the changes you can make, so it’s advisable to review each school’s policies and consult their financial aid offices for guidance.

Q: How do I update my FAFSA with new school choices?

A: If you wish to update your FAFSA with new school choices, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your FAFSA account using your FSA ID.
  2. Select the “Make FAFSA Corrections” option.
  3. Navigate to the “School Selection” section.
  4. Add or remove schools by entering their respective codes or using the search function.
  5. Save your changes and submit the updated FAFSA.

Remember to adhere to any priority deadlines set by the schools you’re adding to maximize your financial aid opportunities.

Q: Are there any limitations on the number of schools I can add to FAFSA?

A: The FAFSA allows you to include up to 10 schools when initially completing the application. However, if you wish to remove a school and add another one at a later time, you can do so by updating your FAFSA as mentioned above. Just keep in mind that there is a maximum limit of 10 schools at any given time.

Q: What should I consider when changing my school list on FAFSA?

A: When changing your school list on FAFSA, consider the following factors:

  1. Eligibility: Ensure that the schools you add are eligible to receive federal financial aid.
  2. Financial Aid Offers: Research and compare the financial aid packages offered by different schools to make informed decisions about your college funding.
  3. Priority Deadlines: Be aware of each school’s priority deadlines for submitting the FAFSA and any additional aid applications they require.
  4. School Preferences: Take into account your academic and personal preferences, such as program offerings, location, campus culture, and career opportunities.

By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can make the most of your FAFSA school choices and optimize your chances of securing adequate financial aid for your education.

Remember, it’s crucial to stay updated with any changes or updates regarding FAFSA schools and their policies. Always reach out to the financial aid offices of the schools you’re interested in for specific guidance and assistance.

Note: The information provided here is general guidance and may vary based on individual circumstances. It is recommended to consult official sources and seek professional advice when making important financial decisions.
As you navigate the complex and often overwhelming process of applying for financial aid, adding schools to FAFSA emerges as a crucial step in securing your college funding. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure that your chosen schools receive your FAFSA information and consider you for various financial aid opportunities.

Remember, FAFSA allows you to add up to 10 schools at a time, so take advantage of this option to explore different possibilities and maximize your chances of receiving favorable financial aid packages. Keep in mind that each college may have its own priority deadlines and requirements, so staying organized and informed is key.

By adding schools to FAFSA, you empower yourself to make well-informed decisions about your education while opening doors to potential scholarships, grants, and loans. Remember to research each school’s financial aid policies and consider their affordability when finalizing your college list.

As you embark on this exciting journey towards higher education, don’t hesitate to reach out to financial aid offices or guidance counselors for assistance. Planning early, gathering all necessary information, and submitting your FAFSA application promptly will put you on the right track to secure the financial support you need.

In conclusion, adding schools to FAFSA is a critical process that can significantly impact your college funding. By taking the time to understand the steps involved and carefully selecting your desired institutions, you create opportunities for financial assistance and enable yourself to pursue your academic goals with confidence. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to making your dreams a reality.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button