The first step in your financial aid journey

Whether you’re a new or continuing student, the Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your first step to request student financial aid. It’s online, it’s free, and it’s easy to complete. 

FAFSA helps the Financial Aid Office to determine what financial assistance you’re eligible for—like grants, loans, work-study jobs and some scholarships. There’s no income cutoff to be eligible for some form of financial aid, so you never know how much you qualify for until you apply. You’ll need to fill it out every year of your college career.

Once you‘ve submitted the FAFSA, you’ll get an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) telling you how much your family is expected to contribute towards paying for college. We’ll then look at those numbers to assess your financial aid eligibility.

Are you ready to apply for financial aid?

Understand your eligibility, the types of financial aid available to you, and financial aid requirements.

Where to Start

There are several steps to the FAFSA process.

Gather your information

You’ll need a few things handy to complete the FAFSA. If you don’t have everything you need, don’t worry. You can always start the FAFSA application, save it, and finish at a later time. 

To paint an accurate picture of your financial situation, you will need your social security or alien registration number, federal tax information, records of untaxed income, bank account balances, and investment information

The FAFSA collects information from prior-prior year, for example your 2021-22 FAFSA you will need to use income from your 2019 Federal Income Tax form.

Get it done

Once you complete and submit your FAFSA form, you can expect an email letting you know that your FAFSA was processed. Keep an eye out for UCI mail, too. We might need additional information from you in order to complete the process.

Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) and make corrections on the web, even if you filed a paper FAFSA. If you need help in correcting your application, contact our office.


FAFSA Submission Tips

Review a few tips to help you submit a FAFSA application accurately and on time.

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

    For online FAFSA applications, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) can electronically transfer your federal tax return information to your FAFSA form. For more information click here.

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  • Keep your Confirmation

    Completing your FAFSA online? Once you submit your form, a confirmation page will tell you it’s been successfully submitted. Keep a printed copy of the confirmation page for your records.

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  • Use your Signature as your FSA ID

    If you don’t sign your online FAFSA application using a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), you and your guardian (if you’re a dependent) need to sign the signature page and mail it to the address indicated.

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  • Send a Certificate of Mailing

    If you plan on mailing your completed FAFSA form, you should get a Certificate of Mailing from the post office. This certificate will help to ensure that everything arrives on time.

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  • Keep your address up to date

    Once we receive your FAFSA information, all future correspondence regarding your application will be sent to the permanent address we have on record at UCI for you, until Fall quarter begins. Then, mail will be sent to your campus or local mailing address. UCI also will communicate with you via e-mail, so check your inbox regularly, and set your email to allow email from ''. We will send messages to the address provided on your admission application until you receive your UCI student e-mail account.

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