Access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Remember, the application is free to file.

Common FAFSA Mistakes

Download this tip sheet of common mistakes to avoid while filing your FAFSA.


Provides some basic information to estimate your eligibility for federal student aid.

Guide to the TASFA

For undocumented students in Texas. This application is free to file, but must be mailed directly to the colleges themselves.

Understanding FAFSA

Download this comprehensive How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them) for filing FAFSA.

Additional Financial Aid and Scholarship Resources

US Dept. of Education – Student Aid

General information on types of financial aid, how to apply, and who is eligible.

Paying For College – College Board

Access the Financial Aid PROFILE required by some schools for aid and get other general information.

Scholarship Resources

Check out this helpful document containing information and additional websites to help you search for scholarships.

College for All Texans

Contains general information on going to college in Texas including a scholarship list under the Financial Aid link.

Dollars For College

From America’s Promise Alliance, Citi Foundation and uAspire, this toolkit helps students and families better navigate the financial aid process. 

Tax Help Resources

Community Tax Centers

Community Tax Centers prepare taxes for free for eligible individuals and families. See list of locations and schedules in Dallas.

IRS Free Tax Help

Offering free tax help to those who qualify. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the workshops

Attending a Dallas County Financial Aid workshop will provide you with…

  • FREE, one-on-one assistance filing your Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) from financial aid experts
  • Scholarship search and application information
  • Next steps to follow after filing a FAFSA or TASFA
  • Help in English and Spanish

If you cannot make any of the workshop dates, do not worry! There are other avenues to get help on your financial aid application.

    1. Ask your high school counselor/college advisor. Their job is to help you navigate the college process!
    2. Call the financial aid office of the college(s) you have applied to.
    3. Call the FAFSA Hotline at 1-800-433-3243.
The workshop is completely FREE. All you have to bring is the necessary personal and financial information to fill out your financial aid application.
About applying for financial aid
Residency Status Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA)
I am a U.S citizen http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ X
I am a permanent resident with an Alien Registration Card (I-551) X
I am a conditional permanent resident with a visa type (I-551C) X
I am an eligible noncitizen with an Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) showing one of the following:
  • Refugee
  • Asylum granted
  • Parolee (for a minimum of one year)
  • Cuban-Haitian entrant
I do not meet one of the statuses above; however, I have been classified as a Texas resident and therefore am eligible to pay the Texas in-state tuition rate. My classification as a Texas resident is NOT due to an in-state scholarship or assistantship

Note: The residency statuses above pertain to the student who is applying for financial aid. The parent’s resident status does not impact the student’s eligibility to apply for financial aid.

Citation: http://www.aie.org/state/tasfa/TASFA-instructions-2014-2015-english.pdf

Over $150 billion dollars are awarded every year to help students pay for college in the form of grants, low-interest loans and work-study funds.*

Grants (money you do not have to repay)

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants (TEACH)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Loans (money you borrow and must repay with interest)

  • The Federal Perkins Loan Program
  • The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides funds for part-time employment, usually
career-oriented, to help students pay for college

State Financial Aid (Click here for more information about Texas Financial Aid

  • College Access Loan Program (CAL)
  • License Plate Insignia Scholarship (LPI)
  • Texas B-On-Time Loan
  • Texas College Work-Study Program (TCWSP)
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)
  • Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)
  • Texas Tuition and/or Fee Exemptions
  • Top 10% Scholarship Program
  • Towards EXcellence, Access & Success (TEXAS) Grant Program
  • Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)


  • Aid from the college
  • Scholarships
  • Tax credits for education expenses
  • Aid for military

Click here for more information on each of type of Federal aid.
*Award packages will NOT include all forms of aid. For example, you may be awarded
the Texas B-On-Time Loan but not the Federal Pell Grant.

Even though the TASFA will not qualify you for any federal aid, it does give you eligibility for state aid.*

Grants (Grants are money you don’t have to repay. Click here for more information about Texas Financial Aid programs)

  • Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)
  • TEXAS Grant
  • Texas Educational Grant (TEG)
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
  • Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)
  • Top 10 Percent Scholarship Program
  • Texas College Work-Study (Students must have eligible visa which permits them to work in U.S.)
  • State Exemption programs
  • College Access Loan (CAL)—(Cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)

Note: TASFA applicants are not eligible for the B-On-Time loan program.
*Award packages will NOT include all forms of aid. For example, you may be awarded the Texas B-On-Time Loan but not the Federal Pell Grant.

Submitting the FAFSA or TASFA before March not only allows you to remove a huge weight off of your shoulders and enjoy the rest of your senior spring, it also:

  • Allows you to get your award letter earlier from colleges, giving you more time to understand how much college will really cost you
  • Ensures that you’ll meet college financial aid deadlines, which are usually very strict and hard to bypass
  • Gives you additional leeway in case you need to submit any additional documents (e.g. verification)
  • Places you in a good position to receive aid that is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis—this is especially important for TASFA applicants

However, even if you do not submit your financial aid application by March, you can still receive aid as long as you submit your application before the college’s deadline.

You do not need the physical Social Security cards to apply for the FAFSA; however, it is important that the names and numbers you use on the application match the government’s tax records.

You can begin filling out the FAFSA and TASFA starting on October 1st.

For the TASFA, most state aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, since some grants require that your application be approved no later than March 15th, you should submit your application by February.

For the FAFSA, the Texas priority deadline is March 15th for state colleges. However, some deadlines are earlier. You should plan to submit your application by February to be safe!

Also, remember to check school specific deadlines. You may also want to ask your college about its definition of an application deadline—whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA, or the date your FAFSA is processed.

Even though there are no official deadlines for either application, you should submit the forms as early as possible to ensure your chances of receiving the maximum aid you are eligible for.

The earlier you file your taxes, the earlier you can submit your financial aid application and receive your award letter. Even though you can submit your financial aid application without having completed your 2016 tax returns, in order to avoid the hassle of verification and having to re-submit information, it is highly recommended that you have your taxes filed before you begin your financial aid application.

Also, if you submit your tax returns electronically three weeks prior or through the mail eleven weeks prior to filling out the FAFSA, you can transfer your IRS tax return information directly from the IRS Web site to your FAFSA form. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool simplifies the process, and removes any chances of human error.

Tax records are annual tax returns (IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) and any other documents that you use to file taxes, such as W-2 forms and bank statements.

First, you need to determine if you qualify as a dependent or independent when filing for financial aid. Click here to find out your status.

If you are a dependent, in addition to your own tax records, you will need tax records for:

  • For both of your parents…
    • If your legal parents are married to each other
    • If your legal parents are not married to each other, including if they are divorced or separated, but live together
  • For one parent…
    • If your parent is widowed or was never married
    • If you parents are divorced or separated and do not live together
      • Choose the parent with whom you lived with more during the past 12 months
      • If you lived the same amount with both parents, then give answers about the parent who provided you with more financial support during the past 12 months

Special circumstances for dependent students

  • If you have a stepparent who is married to the legal parent/guardian whose information you’re reporting, you must also report the stepparent’s information.
  • If you live with anyone who is not your legal parent(s)/guardian(s), you still have to report your legal parent’s information. For example, even if you live with your grandmother but you mother has legal custody over you, you still need to input your mother’s personal and financial information.

If you are independent, you will only need your own tax records. If you are married, you will also need your spouse’s information

Filing your taxes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are Dallas Community Tax Centers that offer free tax preparation assistance for families that make less than $53,000 annually. For more information about locations near you, what documents to bring and hours of operation, click here.

You can also find more locations that offer free tax return assistance through the IRS website here. Generally, they serve people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates school personnel do not have the right to disclose personal student information (including immigration status).

No, DACA does not change a student’s eligibility for federal aid. However, students are still eligible for State Financial Aid.

Students whose families do not file an income tax return must contact each college or university for their non-tax filer form. The financial aid office will likely require further review. Check your email and each school’s financial aid portal frequently to respond as soon as possible to any messages requiring additional information.