The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.


  • Nearly every student is eligible for some form of financial aid. Students who may not be eligible for need-based aid may still be eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan regardless of income or circumstances.
  • After completing the FAFSA, students are presented with a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR provides a student with their potential eligibility for different types of financial aid, their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and a summary of the data a student provided in the application.


  • (Added 5/15/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE): 
  • (Added 4/23/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE): The ability for students and families to make updates to the 2024-2025 FAFSA is now available
    • April 15 was the state’s priority FAFSA deadline, and amongst ongoing issues, we discovered that the implementation of the corrections process temporarily caused errors with students’ ability to submit their FAFSAs, particularly if they were trying to submit without contributor signatures. If you and/or your students contacted our Outreach Coordinators, we helped with documenting the issue (in case an appeal is needed), including making a note on the students’ ScholarTrack accounts. Please contact your outreach coordinator if you have concerns about this.
    • On April 15 we also had students receiving FAFSA confirmation e-mails from Federal Student Aid that said they filed on April 16 (even though they filed on April 15). If that happened for your students, please tell them to save the e-mail (as it should have a date and timestamp for when the e-mail was received, indicating that it came through on April 15). We’ll use this for appeal documentation if needed.(Added 4/23/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  The ability for students and families to make updates to the 2024-2025 FAFSA is now available.  A couple of other updates.
    • Student-Initiated Corrections Available:  Student corrections are now broadly available for applicants and their contributors. Last week, the Department made student-initiated corrections available for brief periods while we completed testing. Since then, the Department has successfully processed more than 100,000 corrections. Students who need to make corrections or who choose to make additions or changes to their FAFSA forms should return to StudentAid.gov to complete those updates. Schools and states should typically receive a new ISIR transaction, and students should typically be able to review their updated FAFSA Submission Summary within 1 to 3 days of the applicant’s submission of a correction. As is its standard practice, the Department will keep the Issue Alerts page up to date as we identify and resolve issues.
    • In the coming days, the Department will be emailing all applicants and their contributors who have processed applications in an “Action Required” status. Emails will be sent to all applicants who require the most common corrections such as missing signatures or consent and approval to access federal tax data, students who indicated they were only interested in unsubsidized loans, and applicants who have started, but not completed their FAFSA form submission. For most applicants and contributors, this process should only take a few minutes.
  • (Added 4/23/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  The federal deadline for the 2024-2025 FAFSA is June 30, 2025. To qualify for federal aid, students can file the FAFSA all the way up to the end of the academic year.  However, states and institutions have earlier and varying deadlines.
    • The priority deadline for the State of Indiana for the 2024-2025 FAFSA is April 15, 2024.
    • Most Indiana institutions align with the State, but they can set and adjust individualized deadlines.
    • A good one-stop page for institutional FAFSA deadlines and FAFSA school codes is our Indiana Pre-admissions landing page: https://learnmoreindiana.org/preadmit/. Questions about this page can be addressed to preadmissions@che.in.gov.
  • (Added 4/9/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE): I am working on an update with answers to recent FAQs to send to you all (and your superintendents and principals). However, since we received an update today regarding FAFSA edits and I saw some questions about that today, I wanted to forward this along.  See below for a message regarding FSA beginning its FAFSA renewal campaign, which will encourage those who submitted a FAFSA for 2023-24 to submit a new FAFSA for 2024-25.
    • The update can be found at the 2024-25 FAFSA Fast News link under the April 9 update.
    • See the part I highlighted about the ability to make edits/corrections. As soon as I have more information, I will share it.
    • Note that the reference to the activities the week of April 15 pertains to the FAFSA Week of Action.
  • (Added 4/9/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  Federal Student Aid released updates on the ability for students/families to make corrections to FAFSAs last evening, along with other announcements. Details can be found at the following link. https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/library/electronic-announcements/2024-04-09/updates-timelines-corrections-and-reprocessing-and-what-it-means-partners
    • Student-Initiated Corrections Update:  We have completed the development of the necessary code, and this week, we are entering the final phases of testing, which may include the corrections functionality being available for brief periods of time (i.e., several hours at a time) over the coming days to those who have submitted FAFSA forms.
    • Timeline for student corrections: Our goal is to make student corrections broadly available early next week. Once they are able to do so, students who need to make corrections or who choose to make additions or changes to their FAFSA forms should return to StudentAid.gov to complete those updates. We will communicate publicly that students needing to make corrections, such as adding schools, providing a signature, and allowing for IRS data to be shared can do so by logging into their account. For most applicants and contributors, this process should only take a few minutes. Schools and states should typically receive a new ISIR transaction, and students should typically be able to review their updated FAFSA Submission Summary, within 1 to 3 days of the applicant’s submission of a correction.
    • Proportion of records: To date, as many as 16% of FAFSA applications require a student correction. In addition, some students may wish to send their records to additional schools or make other student-initiated corrections.
    • The overwhelming majority (95%) of the required student corrections involve six issues, which we have prioritized in our testing. Four of these are that the form is missing a student’s signature, a parent’s signature, consent and approval from the student to retrieve federal tax information (FTI) as required by the FAFSA Simplification Act, or consent and approval from the parent to retrieve FTI. Two additional issues include dependent students choosing to only be considered for eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Loans or making selections on the form that place them in a provisionally independent status at historically high rates. We will continue to provide updates to address corrections-related issues as they arise.
    • If you have students and families that continue to need assistance, please connect them with your designated Outreach Coordinator or INvestEd.
  • (Added 3/19/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  This week Federal Student Aid (FSA) began processing FAFSA ISIRs (the data files submitted to states and institutions to use for financial aid awarding). FSA will be ramping up over the next few weeks to catch up on processing all the FAFSAs that have been submitted thus far, and then will be on a regular processing cadence.  In the meantime, the focus should still be on (a) helping those who have not filed to file by April 15, 2024 and (b) helping those who have filed complete edits (if necessary) when the ability to do that opens. The Commission’s Outreach Coordinators and INvestEd continue to be available to assist.  FSA did post yesterday evening an update that contains information about what students will see as FAFSAs are processed. I have copied that information below. We want to make sure that students at least get their portion of the FAFSA to at least “In Review” status by April 15, 2024.
    • Status of 2024-25 FAFSA Applications

      As we begin to transmit larger batches of ISIRs, we understand many students will want to know the status of their FAFSA form. Applicants may check the status of their 2024–25 FAFSA form on StudentAid.gov. To check the status, applicants should do the following:

      1. Log in using their account username and password (FSAID).
      2. Navigate to their account Dashboard.
      3. Select “2024-25 FAFSA Form” from the “My Activity” page. The application status will be one of the following:

      Draft: Your section of the FAFSA form is incomplete.

      In Progress: You provided your consent, approval, and signature to your section of the FAFSA form, but the FAFSA form has not been submitted yet.

      In Review: You have submitted your form and your application is still processing.

      Processed: Your application was processed successfully. No further action is needed.

      Action Required: Your application requires further action from you or your contributor(s). In some cases, you may need to contact your college or career/trade school to resolve the issue.

      Closed: Your FAFSA form was never submitted and can no longer be submitted because the federal FAFSA deadline passed.

  • (Added 3/19/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  The National College Attainment Network (NCAN), which assists with FAFSA completion reporting, posted the following announcement: “After months of waiting & workarounds, ED announced today that it has corrected the FAFSA software to allow contributors without Social Security numbers to use the online application, but identified two issues with the fix. NCAN will detail those in an upcoming post when more information is available. Generally, the first is that matching requires exact entry of personally identifiable information in order to make the match. The second is that the system is not able to retrieve IRS data for those contributors, so it will require them to enter their information manually. There is no timeline on a resolution. Stay tuned for more!” As progress is made on the complete fix, please continue to reach out to your Outreach Coordinator and/or INvestEd for assistance with FAFSA filing. I’ll continue to provide updates as I receive them.
  • (Added 3/12/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  I received notice this morning that Federal Student Aid (FSA) posted an update last week (March 5) regarding StudentAid.gov account creation (aka, FSA ID) for individuals without a social security number (SSN).  FSA shared, “We updated steps 2 and 3 of the account creation instructions to reflect the new process that automatically assigns and provides case numbers by email to those individuals who fail the TransUnion® process.”  The full update, as well as the step-by-step process for individuals without SSNs can be found at the following link.


  • (Added 3/1/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  A few of you have reached out about paper FAFSA forms. Today, Federal Student Aid hosted a webinar for K-12 state leaders and we were provided the following information regarding paper FAFSA forms. – “Paper forms will be processed after the online submissions. If students submitted paper forms to meet a deadline, they should not go and complete the online form. The online form will be processed first, so when the paper form comes through for processing, it will be regarded as a duplicate and will not be processed. The student’s submission date will then be the online submission and not the paper form. If they did the paper form simply because they were not sure what to do at this moment and they would like to move to the online form because they do not have a specific submission date they are trying to comply with, they can move to submitting and online form. I would recommend waiting until the first half of March to do that once issues are fixed.” As a reminder for state financial aid, when we begin to receive ISIRs from Federal Student Aid, we need the first ISIR that we receive for a student to indicate a submission date on or before April 15, 2024.
  • (Added 3/1/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):I am writing with an important update about the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Today the U.S. Department of Education (ED) shared updates regarding the issue that contributors (parents and spouses) without social security numbers (SSNs) have been unable to submit FAFSAs, and in some cases unable to create FSA IDs. These updates are expected to be posted officially Wednesday, likely via the “2024-2025 FAFSA Issue Alerts” page.
    • ED announced that it would resolve a 2024-25 FAFSA issue that is preventing submission when a contributor does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), in the “first half” of March. While ED urged applicants to wait until a permanent fix is possible, it has offered a workaround process (see attached) so that applicants can submit online FAFSAs without contributors’ signatures to obtain confirmation emails with application submission dates. NASFAA shared, “The confirmation email can be used as documentation of FAFSA submission if needed for state, institutional, and/or private aid deadlines. However, because the contributor’s consent, approval, and signature are missing, the process will result in a rejected FAFSA without a Student Aid Index (SAI). Once processing and corrections are available these students will be notified that they will need to make corrections. Once the contributor provides their consent and approval via their FSA ID, the reject will be resolved. ED reiterated in its announcement that this workaround is intended only for applicants with a critical state or institutional deadline to meet in order to receive financial aid.”
    • ED is working on the issue that is making it difficult for contributors without SSNs to create FSA IDs. ED shared that they would automate that process this month. ED is also adding more Spanish-speaking staff to the call center.
    • To give a sense of scale, ED officials currently estimate that 2% of applicants are experiencing issues due to the Social Security number glitch. Note: I have shared with many of you that if a fix was not in place prior to April 15 that we needed to ensure students/families documented their challenges to be able to file appeals once they were able to file. Given that a workaround is in place and a permanent fix is expected in March, please continue to emphasis the April 15 deadline.
  • (Added 2/13/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE): After April 15, ScholarTrack waivers will be able to be entered into ScholarTrack, both on individual student profiles, as well as through the Graduation Details submission process (where schools have historical submitted preliminary/final GPAs and diploma types). To comply with SEA 167-2023, high schools have two options. (1) You can collect a waiver, store that waiver until April 15, and enter it into ScholarTrack. (2) As long has you have communicated with parents at least twice about the FAFSA, after April 15 you can mass waive those who did not file by April 15. ScholarTrack will allow you to indicate who submitted a waiver versus who was mass waived. Thus, if a student comes to you and says they want to file a waiver because they cannot complete the FAFSA, you can provide that to them. Otherwise, all non-filer students will just be part of your mass waiver submission.
    • April 15 Deadline Federal Student Aid announced on January 30 that institutions, state higher education agencies, and designated scholarship organizations would begin receiving batches of FAFSA information (ISIRs) in March. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education intends to maintain the April 15 priority filing deadline. It is important for students and families to file as soon as possible to have the greatest likelihood of meeting institutional deadlines, have ample time to make edits and corrections (if necessary), and to receive financial aid packages as soon as possible to be able to plan for the upcoming academic year. What the priority deadline means is that the Commission awards aid to those who qualify and file by April 15 first. After that round of awarding is complete, the Commission assesses what remaining financial aid is available and adjusts the filing deadline accordingly. How far that deadline is extended depends on the amount of remaining funds available. With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, Federal Student Aid is anticipating more students qualifying for federal and state need-based aid. Thus, the sooner students file, the sooner states and campuses can deliver financial aid awards and assess the impact of potentially more students qualifying for need-based aid.
    • SEA 167-2023: FAFSA Requirement for High School Seniors The Commission is monitoring the impact the delay in information will have. It is important to note no student’s high school graduation will be negatively impacted by the information delay due to the broad opt-out provisions included in the legislation.
    • Updates from Federal Student Aid press release went out from Federal Student Aid last evening. You may want to scroll to the section titled, “Releasing data and tools to help colleges prepare to quickly and accurately process student records, deliver financial aid packages.” There is information about data that Federal Student Aid is beginning to release, as well as a new link for students and families to access FAFSA filing tips and resources. After reviewing that, you can find the data at https://studentaid.gov/data-center/student/application-volume/fafsa-completion-high-school. I recommend reading the information about what is being presented, and then clicking on “FAFSA Data by State/Territory” and then “Indiana” to download a spreadsheet of FAFSA submissions by school. While this isn’t student-level data, it’s it at least gives a sense of how we are doing as a state.
  • (Added 2/1/2024, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE): A few frequently asked questions addressed:
    • Can I see whether students have filed the FAFSA in ScholarTrack? Generally, schools and districts who have signed a data share agreement with the Commission can view FAFSA completion data in ScholarTrack via the “Excel Senior FAFSA Completion Report.” However, 2024-2025 FAFSA data is not yet available. The Commission cannot populate the “Yes” or “No” statuses in that report until we receive Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) from Federal Student Aid (FSA). When the 2024-2025 FAFSA opened, FSA let states and institutions know that ISIRs would not be received until late January at the earliest. Once we receive those and can start populating the report, we will send out an update. In the meantime:
      • If you do not see FAFSA information in ScholarTrack, contact schools@che.in.gov to get a data share agreement signed for your school.
      • You can look for the status of “Wrong Year Filed.” That means that someone in the 2024 cohort has filed the 2023-2024 FAFSA when they need to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA.
      • You can work with your Outreach Coordinator to update cohorts for students graduating early so that you will be able to track their FAFSA filing status and FAFSA completion data for your school will be accurate.
      • You can encourage your school to safelist specific e-mail domains so our K-12 Outreach team can direct message your students to help with filing the FAFSA and requirements for 21st Century Scholars. (See below.)
    • Can I see whether students or parents have created FSA IDs? There is currently no way for us to see who has created FSA IDs.
    • When will the Commissions FAFSA dashboard be updated? See above regarding the delay in receiving ISIRs. Once the Commission receives these, we can start updating the dashboard.
    • Safelist Commission E-mails: E-mails from the K-12 Team and our ScholarTrack system come from the @che.in.gov domain. Reminder e-mails about completing activities (Scholar Success Program, FAFSA, etc.) come from @subscriptions.in.gov.
  • (Added 01/23/24, Hilary Deardorff, CHE):  Indiana Higher Education Commission Announces Statewide FAFSA Completion Goal Students are encouraged to file before Indiana’s April 15 priority deadline. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education announced today a statewide completion goal for the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Commission’s goal is to have at least 60 percent of high school seniors complete the current FAFSA by Indiana’s priority deadline, April 15, 2024. Additionally, the Commission seeks to increase the total FAFSA filing rate including high school seniors, adult learners, and returning students by at least five percent from the previous year. Following the 2023 legislative session, high school seniors are required to file the FAFSA, with opt-out provisions available. Indiana is the 8th state to adopt a FAFSA completion requirement. Other states include Illinois, Texas, and Alabama, which all saw at least a 25 percent increase in FAFSA completion rates in the first year of implementation. Based on FAFSA filing rates for the high school graduating class of 2022, Indiana is ranked 29th in the nation. The Commission anticipates the FAFSA completion requirement will boost Indiana’s ranking. Indiana is a leading state in financial aid, ranking first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation for our need-based aid opportunities,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery. “With the results we are seeing in other states that have adopted FAFSA completion legislation, I expect that Indiana will be a top ten state in FAFSA completions beginning with the high school graduating class of 2024.” Filing the FAFSA is the first step toward accessing over $400 million in state financial aid and billions of dollars in federal aid. Indiana high school graduates left $76 million in Pell Grant funds on the table in 2023 by not completing the FAFSA. Eligibility for the Frank O’Bannon Grant, Indiana’s largest need-based financial aid award, is determined by the FAFSA. The grant received an historic increase in 2022 when the State Budget Committee approved a 35 percent increase to the maximum base-award amounts. “Access to postsecondary education remains a focus of the Commission,” said Lowery. “For many families, affordability is the number one barrier to accessing higher education. Filing the FAFSA is one way to tackle this issue. The FAFSA can open doors to financial aid opportunities that students may not have known about otherwise.”
    • Creating an FSA ID Students and parents (of dependent students) or spouses (of independent students) must create an FSA ID at least three days before filing the FAFSA. Resources needed to create an FSA ID include:
      • Social Security Number (SSN)
      • Full legal name
      • Date of birth
      • Mailing address
      • Personal email address
      • A memorable username and password
    • How to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA
      Students can file the FAFSA online at studentaid.gov. Information needed to complete the FAFSA include:

      • FSA ID
      • Federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned from 2022
      • List of any federal benefits received
      • Asset information including bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
      • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
    • Help is available
      The Commission’s Outreach Coordinators are available to assist students and families in the filing process. Outreach Coordinators are strategically located in eight geographic regions in Indiana and can help students, families, and educators with questions about state financial aid and filing the FAFSA. To send a direct message to your region’s Outreach Coordinator, visit www.learnmoreindiana.org/contact.
    • Additional resources:
      • The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
      • Hoosier families can also access free FAFSA help through INvestEd at investedindiana.org.
      • ¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Llame al 317-617-0358 o 317-617-0318.
    • FAFSA Filing Events. Higher education institutions around the state are hosting FAFSA filing events for students and families. To view the upcoming events calendar, visit learnmoreindiana.org
  • (Added 01/16/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):Here are the best resources for getting assistance with the FAFSA.

    In addition to being able to contact Federal Student Aid Support, INvestEd and our K-12 Outreach team have a direct e-mail that we can send recurring issues to so that they are added to the FAFSA Issue Alerts page (see below). Thus, it is helpful to be aware of issues.You can also view recurring issues that Federal Student Aid is working to resolve and submit a concern at https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/topics/fafsa-simplification-information/2024-25-fafsa-issue-alerts.

  • (Added 01/12/24, Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):  Seniors do not need to wait until after April 15 to sign the FAFSA waiver. The opt out options are show below. Note that a student’s ability to sign the waiver is not based on timing, but on dependency status or age:
    • a parent/guardian of the student submits a FAFSA Waiver Form certifying the student understands what the FAFSA is and declines to complete it;
    • the studentif the student is an emancipated minor or is at least 18 years old, submits a signed waiver certifying the student understands what the FAFSA is and declines to complete it; or
    • the high school principal or counselor of the student waives the requirement due to not being able to reach the family of the student by April 15 after at least two reasonable attempts.
      • Counselors will not be able to enter waivers of any type into ScholarTrack until after April 15. This will be included in an update to the Graduation Details process. More information will be shared about that update in April. Additional questions can be addressed to schools@che.in.gov or Regional Outreach Coordinators. The Outreach Coordinators are hosting FSA ID creation and FAFSA filing events all over the state, in partnership with and separate from INvestEd. Don’t hesitate to connect with them for support.
  • (Added 01/05/24, Hilary Deardorff & Michelle Ashcraft CHE): While Federal Student Aid continues to work to fix any issues that come up during the soft launch period, we highly encourage students and families continue to focus on creating their FSA IDs. There are great resources and support available to all through Federal Student Aid (FSA), the two FSA YouTube pages (@FSAOutreach and @FederalStudentAid), INvestEdLearn More Indiana, and more in your various regions. College Goal Sunday is Sunday, February 25th this year across the state in over 35 locations to help anyone file a FAFSA. We highly encourage anyone working to support students and families in filing FAFSAs to create their FSA ID, as well. There are resources on the dashboard that could be helpful for you, students, and families.
  • (Added 12/15/23, Hilary Deardorff, CHE): State Financial Aid – By Program
  • (Added 11/10/23, ASCA Scene): Mark Salisbury webinar: “Where you apply matters, being financially smart from the start.” at collegemoneymatters.org/september-2023-webinar)
  • (Added 11/10/23, CHE): Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 167-2023: FAFSA – Overview During the 2023 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 167-2023 which requires high school seniors to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or affirmatively opt out of filing by April 15. Completing the FAFSA is an important step in a postsecondary education. Students pursuing short-term certificate training, associate/bachelor’s degrees and even some apprenticeships may receive financial aid by completing the FAFSA.
      • Tracking FAFSA Completion
        • High school administrators and counselors can see which students have completed the FAFSA in real-time in ScholarTrack via the FAFSA Completion Project. Additionally, high schools will be able to report the students who choose to opt out and those waived by the high school after April 15 via the Graduation Details upload in ScholarTrack. High schools will not be asked to provide verification of their two attempts to contact students.
        • The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (Commission) will report the number of students who complete the FAFSA, opt out and are waived by the high school to the Indiana Department of Education for inclusion on the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed Dashboard.
        • Further, high schools’ FAFSA completion rates can be accessed without logging into ScholarTrack via the Learn More Indiana FAFSA Completion Dashboard which will launch in January 2024.
      • Model Notice
        • To assist high schools, the Indiana General Assembly charged the Commission with annually sending a FAFSA model notice that includes:
          • a statement regarding the existence and availability of the FAFSA
          • a description that provides students and parents with an understanding of the process for and benefits of completing the FAFSA; and
          • the state financial aid available to Indiana students.
      • The Commission requests for schools to safelist emails from @che.in.gov and @subscriptions.in.gov so FAFSA communications can be sent directly to students. This will allow the Commission to partner with counselors and educators on FAFSA outreach.
      • Opting Out Students who do not wish to file the FAFSA may opt out in one of the following ways:
        • a parent/guardian of the student submits a FAFSA Waiver Form certifying the student understands what the FAFSA is and declines to complete it;
        • the studentif the student is an emancipated minor or is at least 18 years old, submits a signed waiver certifying the student understands what the FAFSA is and declines to complete it; or
        • the high school principal or counselor of the student waives the requirement due to not being able to reach the family of the student by April 15 after at least two reasonable attempts.
      • The FAFSA Waiver Form will be released on an annual basis on the opening day of the FAFSA. However, the Commission will release this year’s waiver early due to the United States Department of Education delaying the release of the 2024-2025 FAFSA until December 2023. The waiver may be found at https://www.in.gov/che/state-financial-aid/state-financial-aid-by-program/.
      • Questions: High school partners may send questions to schools@che.in.gov or to their Regional Outreach Coordinator.
  • FAFSA home
  • Schools who participate in the FAFSA Completion Project can see a list of their seniors who have completed a FAFSA on ScholarTrack, both Scholars and non-Scholars.
  • If you want to check where your school stands on FAFSA completion,  visit LearnMoreIndiana to see current rankings. The number of students enrolled is based on IDOE compass data and is not real-time enrollment numbers.
  • Learn More Indiana: Filing the FAFSA
  • DACA/Undocumented Students: Private, In-State Schools *school offering private need-based scholarships that DACA students may qualify for
  • INVested Resource for Families
  • INvested FAFSA Checklist


  • (Added 3/1/24, CounselorTalk > Michelle Ashcraft, CHE):
    • Q:  We had a student complete his portion of the FAFSA and also presented us an email with the parents unwillingness to complete their portion of FAFSA . So, is this considered done? Can we mark this kiddo off our list?  When a student is completing their portion there is a check box “Are the student’s parents unwilling to provide their information”.  When the student checks “yes”, and proceeds to complete their portion, once finished; the student then gets a “CONGRATULATIONS, you have completed the FAFSA”.
    • A:  States and institutions had originally been told that a dependent student’s FAFSA would not be considered complete until contributor (parent) information was added, and all signatures were submitted. As a result, we expected to not receive FAFSA information for students with incomplete FAFSAs. However, Federal Student Aid confirmed last night that we will receive incomplete FAFSAs, along with notice of the rejection codes that indicate that the FAFSA is incomplete, and a Student Aid Index (SAI) cannot be calculated. As a result, here are some things to consider in terms of the question below.
      • For 2024-2025, if the student has submitted their portion of the FAFSA and has received a confirmation e-mail, we will consider their FAFSA submitted.
      • We will award financial aid based on the date that the student submitted. Thus, at least the student’s portion must be submitted by April 15.
        • However, students only have a 45-day window to submit parent information/signature, or the process starts over.
        • The ability to add/edit information on FAFSA submissions is opening in early March. Students should make effort to complete these by April 15.
        • We cannot award aid for students who have an incomplete FAFSA and no calculated SAI.
      • If the students check “Yes” to the “Are the student’s parents unwilling to provide their information” question, they will only be awarded unsubsidized federal loans if they pursue postsecondary education. If students want to be considered for other financial aid, they will be required to edit the FAFSA and add contributor (parent) information.
  • (Added 3/1/24, CounselorTalk > Michelle Ashcraft, CHE)
    • Q: Who can host a financial aid night for parents besides Invested?
    • A: The Commission’s Outreach Coordinators can assist with all things financial aid, including FAFSA. See the graphic below for all the topics they can assist with and visit https://learnmoreindiana.org/contact/ if you need to find your Outreach Coordinator. There are also many postsecondary campuses and community organizations that assist the Outreach Coordinators with these topics. The Outreach Coordinators can point you to the local/regional partners that are prepared to present on financial aid in general, specific financial aid programs, and/or FAFSA.
  • (Added 2/17/24, CounselorTalk > Michelle Ashcraft, CHE)
    • Q:  I have a student applying for a local scholarship.  The scholarship is asking for the SAI. I reached out the scholarship program expressing concerns with the delay in processing the FAFSA, her reply was: Once a student has filed their FAFSA, they should receive a confirmation email with their estimated SAI. This student hasn’t received such email. Has anyone received an SAI yet?
    • A: A “2024-2025 FAFSA Student Aid Index Update and Timeline” announcement was shared by Federal Student Aid on January 30, 2024, and updated on February 13, 2024. That information can be found at https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/library/electronic-announcements/2024-01-30/2024-25-fafsa-student-aid-index-update-and-timeline-updated-feb-13-2024. The third paragraph details the updates that have been occurring and still need to be completed to adjust Student Aid Index (SAI) calculations to account for inflationary adjustments before FAFSA information (ISIRs) can be transmitted in “the first half of March.” Beneath that paragraph is a processing timeline for students. Students will not receive their SAIs until their FAFSAs have been processed. Based on an update shared on February 5, 2024 that indicated Federal Student Aid was starting to share data about submissions, we expect many students’ FAFSAs will not be processed till March (as a result of needing to update SAI to account for inflation). The page that shared “FAFSA Completion by High School and Public School District” references “submitted and completed FASFA forms” and, “Data currently posted covers applications processed through February 2. Our next data release is scheduled for February 16, covering applications processed through February 9.” If you download the data for Indiana, 100% of schools on the list show “<5” for “Applications Complete.” This indicates that most students who have filed the FAFSA in the class of 2024 have not had their FAFSA processed. I downloaded the data for many other states, and the case was the same. This is consistent with updates released by Federal Student Aid said that that the data and the related dashboards were only going to show submissions for now until they could release ISIR data in March, and then completion data would update. I do not have contact information for every local scholarship provider, and do not know if they all receive Federal Student Aid updates. You are welcome to forward this e-mail and/or refer local scholarship providers to schools@che.in.gov. You can also send the following links.
  • (Added 2/5/24, CounselorTalk):
  • (Added 1/16/24, CounselorTalk):
    • Q:I have a parent who is trying to create their FSA ID/FAFSA account and can’t get past step number 3. She enters her address and phone number and whatever else is in that  step and hits submit or next (I can’t remember what the button is) and it the page just sits there. It will not move onto the next step. Anyone else have this issue or know how to fix it?
    • A:  This issue was happening with our students and parents as well, and this fix worked and should be helpful. If they leave everything EXCEPT the phone number blank on Step 3, it will work and allow them to continue onto the next step. It works since it solved this issue for two students. There will be an opportunity to add an address after the FSA ID is created. I’m not sure what the issue is but if it is left blank, it takes care of it. So just add the phone number and click continue and it should work.
    • A: CHE Outreach Coordinators and INvestEd have seen intermittent issues with addresses, but most have been able to file with no issue. Originally, we were told to have the individual “log off and try again after a couple of hours.” The latest update we heard was that if individuals “get stuck on the address page of the FSA completion, [tell them] to delete the lines and it will allow you to move forward.”
  • Q: What is the best way to run a FAFSA completion report to see ALL status?
    • A: The FAFSA statuses that you will see in ScholarTrack are as follows:Yes – Student has filed the FAFSA and we have received the data file from the federal processor. They may still have edits to correct, but they have at least filed.No – Student either has not filed the FAFSA or has filed so recently that we haven’t received the data file yet. It usually takes 3-5 business to process the initial FAFSA, but can take longer during high volume times.Wrong Year Filed – Student has filed a FAFSA, but not for the current academic year. They will need to log back into the federal FAFSA site and file the correct year in order to be eligible for state and federal financial aid. The correct FAFSA for 2021 seniors is the 2021-2022 FAFSA, using 2019 tax information.

You may also see Unavailable. That isn’t a FAFSA status. It just indicates that the status is hidden. Schools without a FAFSA data share agreement on file will see this in place of a status. The FAFSA completion report is under the reports tab on the left side of the screen. Once you select the FAFSA Completion Report, you have different filters you can apply to get the results you want.

You will want the 2021 cohort for your current seniors. On the 21 Century Scholars selection, if you leave it blank, the report will include all seniors, both Scholars and non-Scholars. If you want to only check your Scholars, you will select the answer “yes” from the dropdown. For ScholarTrack Account, you can leave it blank for all statuses, or you can select “yes” or “no” if you want to see who has an account or who doesn’t have an account. Finally, FAFSA on File, if you leave it blank, it will include all students and include one of the statuses above listed. You can also day “yes” to get a list of who has already filed, “no” to see who still needs to file, or “Wrong Year Filed” to see if anyone needs to file the correct year.

  • Q: Does anyone know of a source, other than 21st Century Scholars, that will show which of our students has filed their FAFSA?
    • A: If your school participates in the FAFSA Completion data share project, you will be able to see all of your students in ScholarTrack, not just 21st Century scholars.  If you have questions about whether your school has a data share agreement on file, please email me directly with the name of your school: bmartin@che.in.gov
    • A: I love using this option on ScholarTrack. I can see if a student has not completed their FAFSA or if they have left out information. Many times, the student doesn’t realize FAFSA is waiting on more information until I bring it to their attention.
  • Q: When a student fills out the student information section on the FAFSA and has earned a number of dual credits, does the students mark she “has never been to college/1st year” or do her dual credits affect her answer?
    • A: High school dual credits do not mean that they have formally attended college, so they should still answer that they have never been to college.
  • To ensure all students understand how to afford postsecondary education, HEA 1629-2019 requires each 12th–grade student and at least one of their parents/guardians to be provided with a notice regarding information on about the FAFSA by their school corporation. FAFSA filling for the class of 2021 is down 15% from this time last year, due to the pandemic. To assist school corporations, the General Assembly charged the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) with creating and annually updating a model notice.  The FAFSA notice must include:
    • A statement regarding the existence and availability of the FAFSA
    • A description that provides parents and students with an understanding of the process for and benefits of completing a FAFSA
    • The approximate annual tuition costs of each state educational institution in Indiana
    • The state scholarships, grants or other assistance available to students in Indiana

The Commission worked with various education stakeholders to create this document. (Spanish version) The document can be shared digitally or via hard-copy. School corporations may create and distribute their own FAFSA notice so long as it contains the information listed above.

Finally, school administrators and counselors can track your school’s FAFSA completion rate through the LearnMore Indiana FAFSA Completion Dashboard. If you have any questions the FAFSA notice or the FAFSA in general, please contact Courtney Hott, Director of Legislation & Program Implementation at chott@che.in.gov or 317-232-1069.

  • Q: Does anyone have any videos for filling out the FAFSA that I could send out?
  • FAFSA Updates from Commission for Higher Education – May 4, 2020
  • Q: Does anyone know why I have students that have completed their FAFSA but they are showing up on the report as not completed?
    • A: There are different reasons why a student may not show as complete. If the information on their school record doesn’t match exactly with the information on the FAFSA, it may create a new student record instead of syncing with the existing record, especially if the student did not list the high school on the FAFSA.  If you have questions, please send me the student’s first and last name and date of birth. If we have not received the data file from the federal processor, I can request the file from them. If the student does not have a full account with a SSN listed, I will also need their SSN to make the request.  We update ScholarTrack daily, so the lag of 3-5 days is the time it takes for the FAFSA to be processed by the federal Department of Education before they send it to the state. If it has been longer than a week, that is when you should have me request the file. (from Barbie Martin, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, April 2020)
  • Q: This is my first time with a senior that is not a US Citizen but a citizen of Mexico. What financial opportunities are available for him? He is intelligent and active but he’s not sure how he can afford college. Any suggestions? He can’t fill out the FAFSA correct?
    • A: He still needs to fill it out. He is probably going to be better off going to a private school because they have more private scholarships they can give to non-citizens.
    • Look at the Golden Door scholarship program. https://www.goldendoorscholars.org/
    • Some colleges offer scholarship for DACA students, have them check with the universities. La Plaza, from Indianapolis, has a package for Hispanic students, and some for DACA students as well.
    • This was shared with me awhile. Private schools seem to be the better route. I believe they can use the FAFSA to determine what they could be eligible for or maybe one of those CSS profiles. They will not get any money from it, I’m a little leary with current administration though. Private schools can offer more assistance since they aren’t tied to federal dollars. Indiana schools would recognize them as out of state which is even higher tuition costs for state schools. A former advisor talked to me about having them go the Ivy Tech route to cut down on those initial costs of attending.
    • I would contact the International office of admissions at a college. They know the difference in all the types of oversea students and what they can do and apply for. My suggestion is to contact IUPUI.
    • If he has DACA that gives him temporary protected status but that unfortunately knocks him out for state and federal aid eligibility. The one thing to note from this is that he could still file the FAFSA because DACA recipients are eligible for SSNs, but I would have him consult with his colleges/universities to which he is considering attending to see if they want him to file it. Some do and some don’t.
    • I am sure he is feeling overwhelmed by it all. Private institutions, as I am sure you know, can be more flexible in how their aid packages are distributed.
  • FAFSA Data Share Agreement: HEA 1245-2019 requires all Indiana high schools, or their school corporations, to enter into a FAFSA Data Share Agreement with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.  The data is incorporated into ScholarTrack, so you will have access through your ScholarTrack accounts. Once your school has an executed data share agreement, you will be able to look at individual students and pull a FAFSA completion report for the full cohort.  HEA 1245-2019 FAFSA Memo
  • From Counselor Talk, October 2018:
  • From Counselor Talk, January 2018:
    • Q: How to handle the FAFSA for a Senior who is 18 and is no longer living with her parents, nor has contact with them
    • A: She will need to fill out a dependency override form once she fills out her FAFSA and it rejects she will then take it to the school and she will need documentation from several different people so that she will then be considered independent and be able to get aid. It is a whole process and it’s in-depth. She will need letters from professionals like you that know her situation as well as possibly a minister or someone else that knows her situation. She will need to keep all the documentation because each and every year until she graduates she will have to fill out the forms.  She has to make contact with the Fin Aid office of the school she plans to attend so they know what is going on and to keep them in the loop.
  • From Counselor Talk, April 2018:
    • Q: Where can I locate a list of my seniors that have completed a FAFSA?
    • A: upload all of your seniors to ScholarTrack & then under “Reports”, “Middle/High School”  and “FAFSA Completion Report”


If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email counselor1stop@inspiresuccess.org and let us know.