The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available to complete and submit online for free at FAFSA.gov, according to the U.S. Department of Education. After clicking the Start a New FAFSA link on the home page, first-time users should click Enter the Student's Information to create an account.
The applicant's full name, Social Security number and date of birth are required to begin the application, explains the U.S. Department of Education. Students must file a new FAFSA every year that aid is needed, and as close to Jan. 1 as possible to ensure access to available aid. A copy of the previous year's federal tax return is required for the application, but estimates retrieved from a prior year's federal return are acceptable until the necessary return is complete.