Your Guide to FAFSA

If you’re like most students you’re probably thinking about how to finance college.  A Plymouth State University (PSU) education is an investment for a successful future.  We are committed to helping you afford a PSU education.  More than 90% of our undergraduate students receive some form of merit- or need-based financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application that PSU requires to apply for Federal and Institutional Financial Aid.  The FAFSA is currently available for the 2020-2021 academic year and must be completed each year.

To maximize financial aid eligibility we strongly recommend that students file their FAFSA’s prior to PSU’s priority filing deadline of March 1st each year for all undergraduate students.  After March 1st FAFSA’s are considered late and students may not be eligible for some federal and institutional aid.

The first step in filing the 2020-2021 FAFSA for families who have never filed one before is to obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).  Both the student and the custodial parent on the FAFSA are required to have an FSA ID, which is their electronic signature for their federal forms.  Having this in place prior to filing your FAFSA will speed up the process, although it can be created at the same time.

The second step is to complete the FAFSA.  It is important to remember that the FAFSA asks questions from the student’s perspective.  Both the student and parent will need their FSA ID to sign the FAFSA at the end.  Although you may submit the FAFSA without electronic signatures, opting to sign by paper, it will delay processing and our receipt of it.

  • To start your 2020-2021 FAFSA go to        

The 2020-2021 FAFSA requires 2018 tax information.  There is the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) that is built into the FAFSA application to transfer the student and parent tax information in to the FAFSA form directly from the IRS.  If you’re eligible to use this tool it is the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information and may reduce the amount of paperwork requested by PSU.

PSU receives new or updated FAFSA information electronically once a week and will begin receiving the 2020-2021 FAFSA applications in November.  Once we receive your FAFSA information there may be additional documentation needed in order to review a student’s financial aid eligibility.  We strongly encourage students and parents to check their emails regularly for updates, as well as the myPlymouth portal for returning or deposited students.

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Use your/your parent(s) full legal name
  • Use your/your parent(s) correct social security number and date of birth
  • Be sure to electronically sign and ‘Submit’ not just ‘Save’ the FAFSA
  • Be sure to file by March 1st

If at any time the student or parent on the FAFSA have any questions or need assistance we encourage you to contact the Student Financial Services Office at 603-535-2338 or and we’ll be happy to assist you throughout this process!