FAFSA (free application for federal student aid)

 All applicants for financial aid must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year that they wish to apply for aid.

UW-La Crosse has a priority date of February 1 each year for consideration of all types of aid. This is not a deadline. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year.

Prior-Prior Year
Instead of waiting until you and/or your parents have completed your tax returns for the previous year, you can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, using information from TWO years prior. Watch this quick video to learn more about how you’ll benefit from this new move to using prior-prior year income data.
Seven Easy Steps to FAFSA
A student's guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Note: This video talks about the PIN number which has since been discontinued. If you have not already done so, you will need to create an FSA User ID and password on https://studentloans.gov.
How to Create Your FSA ID
In order to sign the FAFSA form online, students (and parents of dependent students) need an FSA ID.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

We strongly recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option to help complete the FAFSA. Within 1-2 weeks after filing your taxes, you should be able to retrieve your federal tax data right into your FAFSA. In order to use this option, you must

  • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a user-selected FSA ID (username and password)
  • Have an unchanged marital status since December 31 of the year the taxes are for
  • Have not filed separately, if married

When completing the tax information on the FAFSA, indicate "Already Filed" and select the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option when given.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Step-by-Step explanation about this tool to import your tax information into your FAFSA.

Helpful Graphics


Other documents as requested

Submit any additional forms specifically requested by the UWL Financial Aid Office. Priority Date is February 1 each year for the upcoming academic year, for consideration of all types of aid.

See your "To Do" list on your WINGS Student Center to determine if there is additional documentation required before your file is considered complete.

Tax return transcripts

If your FAFSA was selected for verification, we may be requesting federal tax return transcripts.