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Taking this one step will make completing the FAFSA a lot easier

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Completing the federal application for financial aid is a lot easier now than it was a few years ago, thanks to steps taken by the U.S. Department of Education.

For example, there's the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that allows you to import income tax information into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which became available on Oct. 1, 2019 for the 2020-21 academic year.

Even with that improvement and others, there are still steps you can take to make it easier. There are several documents you will need to complete the FAFSA, and you may need to calculate the value of some investments. It's best to do that preparation before you sit down to complete the FAFSA online at

To help you prepare, the Department of Education offers a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. It's important to remember that this worksheet is for your use only and shouldn't be mailed to anyone. The worksheet is a guide for you to make sure you gather all the information you need and have answers to all the FAFSA questions.

In addition to the worksheet, there is help available when you complete the FAFSA. If you have a question, contact Mapping Your Future at or 1-800-374-4072.