How to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

Beginning October 1, 2019, students can begin completing the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The FAFSA is the main college financial aid application students must complete in order to determine state and federal scholarship and/or grant qualification. All students should file the 2020-2021 FAFSA regardless of post-secondary plans!

In order to remain TN Promise eligible, students must complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA by February 7, 2020.

Prior to FAFSA completion last year, students were required to create an FSA ID. The student’s parent/guardian also created an FSA ID. The FSA ID username and FSA ID password is needed in order to log into the FAFSA account at If you have misplaced or forgotten your FSA ID information, please click here for information on retrieving your FSA ID information.

Once logged into FAFSA, students must select to file the 2020-2021 FAFSA application. Students and parents will utilize 2018 tax information to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible as some state/federal financial aid grants are first-come, first-served. Upon FAFSA completion, students will receive an email confirming their FAFSA submission, which will include FAFSA submission date and time. Students should save the confirmation email for their records.

For help while filing the FAFSA, please contact the FAFSA helpline at 1-800-433-3243.

Documentation needed in order to successfully file the 2020-2021 FAFSA:

  • Student and parent/legal guardian FSA IDs
  • 2018 Federal Tax Return or other income documentation
  • Social Security number(s)
  • Driver’s license (if any)
  • 2018 tax information for student and parent/legal guardian(s)
  • Most parents/legal guardians/students can import their 2018 tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool via FAFSA.
  • 2018 untaxed income records, such as child support received and veterans non-education benefits
  • Current information on checking and savings account balances; stock, bond, and other investments; and business and farm assets
  • Alien registration card (if student is not a U.S. citizen)

Remember: students must file the 2020-2021 FAFSA no later than February 1, 2020 for TN Promise eligibility. Please save your confirmation email for your records!