(INDIANAPOLIS) – Hoosier students and families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is now open for the 2020-21 school year.

With more than $350 million in state financial aid available, as well as billions of dollars in federal aid, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reminds Hoosiers it is more important than ever to file the FAFSA by April 15, 2020, according to the news release.

All students should file the FAFSA, regardless of family income. In addition to determining eligibility for state and federal financial aid, many colleges require a completed FAFSA to award merit and need-based scholarships. Filing the FAFSA is critical for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars, who must file on time in order to earn the state scholarship that pays for up to four years of college tuition.

“Filing the FAFSA is one of the most important things students can do to secure financial aid for college,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “It’s crucial for students to file by the April 15 deadline to remain eligible for their state aid, but the earlier students and families file, the better.”

Recent changes to the FAFSA filing process offers students more flexibility by filing through a smartphone application: the myStudentAid app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, and was designed to make it easier for the nearly 19 million students who file the FAFSA each year. The app also benefits students who do not have a computer or high-speed internet access at home.

How to file the FAFSA

Students can file the FAFSA online at FAFSA.gov or by using the myStudentAid app. The first step for students who have not previously filed the FAFSA is to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Then, each student will need:

Social Security number

Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)

Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned

Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)

Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 800-4FED-AID. Hoosier families can also find FAFSA help through INvestEd Indiana at www.investedindiana.org.

For questions about state financial aid, students can contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education by phone at 888-528-4719 or via email at awards@che.in.gov.