What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is an annual application a student submits that determines qualification for federal aid, including grants, loans, and work-study. The completion of the FAFSA is necessary to be considered for financial aid. The FAFSA gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to help pay for college! New Mexico State University offers federal and state aid to qualified students, and your eligibility for that aid is determined by the FAFSA.

When do I Fill Out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA opens on October 1st of each year. For the 2023-24 FAFSA, you will need to use 2021 tax information. We encourage you to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after the opening date. Certain funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, including work-study, so it’s very important to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. The priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1st of each year. However, a FAFSA can be filed at any time during the academic year.

Application Process

For easy steps to completing the FAFSA, view our FAFSA Walkthrough video.
 FAFSA Video Tutorial

Before you start the FAFSA, you will need to register for an FSA (Federal Student Aid) ID, if you do not already have one.
Start your FAFSA now

What You May Need:

  • The 2023-24 FAFSA will require 2021 tax information.
  • Student and parent Social Security Numbers
  • Parent date of birth
  • Student Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card
  • Student and parent previous years tax W-2 Forms
  • Student and parent previous years tax 1099 Forms
  • Student and parent previous years tax 1098-T Forms
  • Student and parent previous years tax Federal Tax Returns
  • Student and parent previous years tax untaxed income records (such as VA Non-Educational Benefits, child support or worker’s compensation)
  • Student and parent current assets: savings, checking, cash, net worth of investments, net worth of current business and/or investment farms

NMSU School Codes

NMSU Main Campus 002657
NMSU Alamogordo 002658
NMSU Grants 008854
Southeast New Mexico College 002659


IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)

The FAFSA allows you to link your tax return directly to your application using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This video tutorial gives instructions on how to use the tool. All students may not be eligible to use Data Retrieval Tool.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Tutorial

Tax Filers with Special Circumstances

  • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may not be available for the applicant in the following circumstances:
  • A joint tax return was filed, but the student or the student’s parents have filed the FAFSA with a marital status of separated, divorced or widowed.
  • If the tax filer is married to someone other than the individual included on the previous year’s joint tax return.
  • If the parent or student was not married in the previous year, but is married at the time the FAFSA is filed. The current spouse’s income must be reported on the FAFSA.
  • If the parents or the student is married but filed tax returns separately.
  • If an amended tax return was filed.
  • Applicants filing a territorial tax return or a foreign tax return may not use the IRS Tax Retrieval and must send a copy of their previous year’s tax documents.
  • Victims of identity theft will submit IRS Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit) with the 1040/A/EZ that was filed.

Non-Tax Filers

Non-Tax Filers will select the “Will not file” option if they did not/were not required to file a federal income tax return. Copies of all W-2 forms from all employers must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid at NMSU.

Requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript

NMSU may require an IRS Tax Return Transcript. There are three ways tax filers can request an IRS Tax Return Transcript in order to turn it into the Financial Aid Office:

  • Mail: Log into the IRS Tax Transcripts web page to have a paper transcript mailed to you within 5 to 10 days. After receiving your transcript, return it to the Financial Aid office.
  • Telephone: (800) 908-­9946 – A paper transcript will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 days. After receiving your transcript, return it to the Financial Aid office.
  • IRS Form 4506T-EZ: Request forms can be downloaded from the IRS web page. A paper transcript will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 days. After receiving your transcript, return it to the Financial Aid office.
All Tax Return Transcripts can be hand-delivered, emailed (financialaid@nmsu.edu), or Faxed to NMSU Financial Aid.  

What happens after I fill out the FAFSA?

  • After you submit the FAFSA, it will be processed and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be determined. Your EFC is then used to determine how much aid you receive. 
  • Once you've submitted your FAFSA, it is important that you do not make any changes unless instructed by your Financial Aid Office.
  • Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will save to your StudentAid Account and the Financial Aid Office receives your data electronically in about 3-5 business days. 
  • The Financial Aid Office will send all communication via your myNMSU email. Once admitted to NMSU, it is important that you register your account and check it regularly. You may follow this myNMSU Instruction Guide for assistance in reviewing your financial aid account.
  • The Financial Aid Office then requests any additional information needed to complete your file.
  • Submit any requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Can I get an early estimate of my aid?

Yes, you can definitely get an early estimate of your aid! The Net Price Calculator is an excellent tool to help you determine how much aid you could receive. 

We Can Manually Add Your Application to NMSU?

Students may ask for NMSU Financial Aid to add their school code to an application. The student must provide their primary campus office with the Data Release Number (DRN) which is a four-digit number assigned to an application by Federal Student Aid. Follow the directions below to retrieve your DRN and then head to our Contact Us page to get in touch with your campus' Financial Aid Office.

Steps to Retrieving Your DRN

  1. Go to the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
  2. Click on View and Print Your Student Aid Report.
  3. Student Access page comes up. Scroll down and click select to choose the school year from the pull-down. Click next.
  4. FSA ID page comes up. Enter the requested information.
  5. SAR Transactions page comes up. Click on Transaction Number 01.
  6. Processing Information page comes up. Click on You the Student (on the left-hand side of the page).
  7. You the Student page comes up and the DRN# is on it.

For additional help, call 1-800-433-3243.