FAFSA Renewal – GradPlan

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is now open. Learn more here.


FAFSA Renewal

How to renew your FAFSA each year so you can continue to receive financial aid for school.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows US Citizens and eligible noncitizens to apply for money to help pay for continuing education after high school. Some scholarship foundations also utilize the FAFSA to determine eligibility.

What types of financial aid can I get by completing the FAFSA?
  • Grants: Free money most often awarded from the state or federal government through FAFSA.
  • Loans: Money that is borrowed, and the student eventually have to pay back.
  • Work Study: a program that allow students to earn money by working part-time while they are in college.


Learn more about these different types of financial aid here.

Who is eligible?

You must have a valid social security number and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be a US Citizen or US National
  • Have a Green Card
  • Have an Arrival-Departure Record
  • Have a T-visa or have a Parent with a T-1 visa

Learn more about eligibility requirements »

When do I renew?

The 2024-25 application is open

TIP! Keep an eye on your school’s website and federal government updates about FAFSA. Apply as early as possible to receive the most amount of financial aid possible. Use this interactive checklist by uAspire to help you renew your FAFSA each year.

What application materials do I need?

Financial Information

  • Your or your parents’ federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. If you need financial aid for 2024, then you need your or your parents’ 2022 tax returns.
  • Bank Statements
  • Investment Records (If eligible)
  • Records of Untaxed Income (If eligible)

Ready to renew?

All Contributors create FSA IDs

For the 2024-25 Better FAFSA Better Future, all contributors, including yourself, parents/guardians, or spouses, must create and verify their FSA ID as a legal signature. You cannot enter information on behalf of others; instead, you will invite them to enter their details after accessing your FAFSA application. Once all contributors have their FSA ID and are invited, they can consent and enter their own information on your FAFSA application.

Contributors without SSNs will follow a separate process launching with the new FAFSA on December 31, 2023. Regardless of existing FSA ID status, an email address is required for this process. The key difference is that those without an SSN will check a box on the application stating they do not have one.


Tip– Although the Better FAFSA Application doesn’t open until December, you and any contributors could and should get started setting up your FSA IDs now.

Log-in to the FAFSA.gov as a Returning User

Once you are logged in you will have the option to update your current FAFSA or to start a new one for the next year. Select “start a new one for the next year.” It may also appear as “2024-25 FAFSA Form Coming in December”

Example– If it is November 1, 2023 and you want to start your renewal FAFSA application for the next school year, you would choose the 2024-25 option, since classes for the next year would start in the fall of 2024.

Review and Update your Information

When renewing your FAFSA, the information you previously entered for the current school year will automatically populate. This saves a lot of time! Review the information to ensure it is current and update as needed.

Reminder– Be sure the school you’re planning to attend the following year is listed on your FAFSA.

Sign and Submit your Application

You and any contributor (parent/guardian, spouse) must sign and submit your portion of the application using your own separate FSA IDs.

Remember: your application isn’t complete until all contributors have given consent and completed their portion successfully. If for some reason you do not have contact or access to your parent/guardian, learn more about dependency status here.

Follow-up with your Financial Aid Office 

Three weeks after you have submitted your renewal FAFSA, stop by your college’s Financial Aid Office. Ask them to check if your renewal FAFSA is showing up for them. They can let you know if everything looks good, if something is missing, or if you need to wait a little longer for it to process.


Don’t forget about scholarships!

When you’re in the financial aid office, ask about scholarship opportunities through your school. Most colleges have scholarships available to current students that may not have been eligible for before.

Recommended Resources


Financial Aid

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist