Step 1: Prepare for your Financial Aid application

Getting an Email Address

GCC Financial Aid and the US Department of Education use email to keep you informed of your financial aid status.  If you do not have an email account, you can get a free account at any of the following:

Creating a NEW FAFSA ID (electronic signature)

An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. An FSA ID is comprised of a username and password and can be used to login to certain Federal Student Aid websites, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

The security of your FSA ID is important. Your FSA ID can be used to:

  • Electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents,
  • Access your personal records, and
  • Make binding legal obligations.

If you are a parent and need to electronically sign your child’s FAFSA, you need your own FSA ID. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign their applications. Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You are not authorized to create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member. Misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government could result in criminal or civil penalties.

If you do not already have an FSA ID, go to https://fsaid.ed.gov

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must:

  • Contact Federal Student Aid’s Customer Service center at 1-800-433-3243,
  • Update your username and password by selecting Edit My FSA ID, or
  • Disable your FSA ID so that no one can use it by selecting Edit My FSA ID and selecting Disable My FSA ID.

What you need to fill out the FAFSA

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically. (If you do not already have one, visit https://fsaid.ed.gov to create one.)

If you are a dependent student, then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).

  • Parent’s social security number 
  • Parent’s Alien registration or permanent resident card number (if applicable)
  • Parent’s valid email account
  • Parent’s most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Parent’s Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Parent’s Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • Parents FSA ID to sign electronically. (If you do not already have one, visit https://fsaid.ed.gov to create one.)
  • *For further questions or helpful information you can visit: https://fafsa.ed.gov/help.htm