You ask, we answer: Say what, FAFSA?!

Dear J,

As if I’m not bad enough at filling out my FAFSA on time, there is a whole section asking me for my parents’ income? I asked my parents and they haven’t filed their taxes yet!? What do I do?

Thx- Anthony W

My exact look when filling out FAFSA forms. (Credit:

My exact look when filling out FAFSA forms. (Credit:


Everyone is bad at timing FAFSA forms so don’t feel too bad! The important thing is that you’re getting it done. Now, for the dilemma. I ran into this problem a couple of years ago with my parents and this is what I found out. The form asks if you “have filed taxes,” or “will file.” Choose “will file.” You can come back later and incorporate your tax documents once you have them. There is also an option to create an estimate. You can make a rough estimate based on the previous year’s taxes (assuming there was no major change in income like someone losing a job). The reason you would want to estimate is so that you can actually proceed to submitting your FAFSA to meet deadlines. If you need to get this done now, make the estimate, submit it and come back later to make adjustments.

For more help with your FAFSA, check out these tips by Ginny Gaylor, “Tips for college students filing for FAFSA,” on CengageBrain.

Have you ever had to submit your FAFSA and make changes afterwards?

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