Financial Aid

FAFSA Renewal for Returning College Students

Learn how to complete the FAFSA as a returning college student, including how to log in, which questions will be pre-populated, and how to submit the form to your school.
Student completing a renewal FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a financial aid form you must complete to receive financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college. The FAFSA only applies to a single academic year, which means you must submit the form every year you attend college.

To start the process of filing a renewal FAFSA, visit and log in as a returning user. You'll log in with your FSA ID username and password that you created the first time you filed the FAFSA.

Renewing your FAFSA is often easier than completing it the first time. Since you've already filed a FAFSA, many of your answers will pre-populate with the same information. Make sure to review all pre-populated answers to ensure they are still correct and update any answers that have changed. Some information will not be pre-populated. You'll still likely need to fill in requested financial information, such as parent and student assets.

Keep in mind that starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA, each individual listed on the FAFSA must log in and complete his or her own section of the application. So if you're the student, you will log in with your FSA ID and answer your questions, and your parent will do the same. You will only see the questions in your own section. And if you have two parents listed on the FAFSA, and they filed taxes separately, they will both need to log in with an FSA ID and answer their own questions. This might mean that one of your parents will need to get an FSA ID and log in to the FAFSA to complete a section when they didn't have to do so in previous years.

Make sure to list the FAFSA code for your college so that your application is sent to them. If you're thinking of transferring, make sure to include the FAFSA codes for both your current college and any schools you are considering. Don't forget to submit the FAFSA once it's complete. Check with your college to find out what their financial aid deadline is for returning students. Although deadlines for returning students are often later than deadlines for incoming students, it's important that you don't miss the deadline, as this could lead to your family losing out on financial aid.

Remember that financial aid eligibility is adjusted year to year. If your family has experienced a negative change in financial status, you could be eligible for more financial aid. You'll also want to keep in mind that if you plan to use Federal Student Loans to pay for school, you'll need to submit the FAFSA for that year.

If you have any questions about financial aid, MEFA is here to help. Contact us at (800) 449-6332 or

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