It’s a pretty famous saying that “change is the only constant in life.” As each second goes by, we all are changing—we are getting older, no matter who we are. Even more dramatic changes, such as moving or beginning college require change. The same is true for your financial situation. It may be that your financial situation changes from year to year. This is one reason you must renew your FAFSA. For every academic year you need financial aid assistance, you must complete a new FAFSA application. The renewal FAFSA is for applicants who have already completed the FAFSA the previous year.

When you renew your FAFSA online, you cut back the amount of time you spend on completing your application. Many of the answers you provided on the previous year’s application will automatically update when you go to renew your FAFSA. Therefore, you reduce the time it would normally take to answer all questions on the FAFSA. You will only need to answer any questions where the answers have changed since last year.

If you decide to complete a paper renewal FAFSA, most students who have provided a valid mailing address, social security number, and were not default on any loans will automatically receive a paper FAFSA in the mail.

If you are completing your FAFSA electronically, you will need a PIN number to complete your FAFSA and to make corrections. The PIN number is simply a 4-digit number or 6-digit alphabetic code. Every student gets a specific PIN number. This number helps you access Federal Student Aid Websites.

Your pin will help you to renew your FAFSA and electronically sign your FAFSA, among other things.

In addition to completing your FAFSA, be sure to meet your FAFSA renewal deadline. Communicate with your school’s financial aid office as to when your renewal application is due.

Things change, but at least you can be prepared for what is to come. So remember as you go to renew your FAFSA:

  • Complete your FAFSA every year, beginning January 1st.
  • Have your 4-digit number or 6-digit alphabetic code ready if you are completing or correcting your FAFSA electronically.
  • Be aware of the deadline

Although you completed your FAFSA once, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need help the second, third, etc. time around.

apply today

Tired of writing scholarship essays?

We don't blame you! Take a break from writing and apply for our Recycled Essay Scholarship today.

Learn More