How to Apply


Applying for financial aid begins with submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at  Please visit for information on how to submit a FAFSA.

Para solicitar ayuda federal para estudiantes, debes someter la FAFSA (Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes) vía la página web  Por favor, visite  para obtener información sobre cómo rellenar una FAFSA .

  • 1. Gather Needed Documents to Apply

    The FAFSA asks for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, when you filed taxes or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA:

    • Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)
    • Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
    • Your driver’s license number, if you have one
    • Your Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
    • Federal tax information or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents, if you are a dependent student:
      • IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and 1099(s)
      • Foreign tax return and/or
      • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
    • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
    • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • 2. Obtain Any Required FSA ID(s)

    While you are not required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit a FAFSA on the Web application, it is the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed.  

    Obtain a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID username and password from

  • 3. Log in to FAFSA and Apply

    Log in to to start or renew your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    Pay attention to deadlines!  There are Federal, State and college deadlines.

  • 4. Answer ALL FAFSA Questions

    Answer all of the FAFSA questions using your and your parent's (or if married, your spouse's) Federal Income Tax forms, being sure to add the school code for Gulf Coast State College: 001490

  • 5. Sign and Submit Your FAFSA 

    E-sign your FAFSA with your FSA ID

    • Be sure to submit your FAFSA after e-signing with appropriate signature(s)
    • Print out the FAFSA confirmation page that appears after submitting your FAFSA to obtain for your records
  • 6. Apply for Admission to Gulf Coast State College
    Apply for admission to Gulf Coast State College in a Federal Student Aid eligible program
  • 7. Check your Gulf Coast State College Student Email

    Be sure to regularly monitor your Gulf Coast State College student email

    • Important updates, notifications and Financial Aid correspondence will be sent to your Gulf Coast State College student email
  • 8. Check your Gulf Coast State College Lighthouse Account

    Be sure to regularly monitor your Gulf Coast State College Lighthouse Account

    • Important updates, notifications and status updates regarding any requirements needed to review and process your Financial Aid request will be posted on your Gulf Coast State College Lighthouse Account.
    • Click on the myGCSC link to log in to your Lighthouse Account
  • 9. Always Check for Updates or changes to the FAFSA application process

    What you need to know about the 2017-2018 FAFSA®

    Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the following changes will be in effect:

    • You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA® earlier.
      • You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
    • You’ll use earlier income and tax information.
      • Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.

    The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.  View further information on how these changes will benefit you.

    When a Student is Attending College When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA Which Year's Income/
    Tax Information is Required
    Fall 2015, Spring 2016 or Summer 2016 January 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 2014
    Fall 2016, Spring 2017 or Summer 2017 January 1, 2016–June 30, 2017 2015
    Fall 2017, Spring 2018 or Summer 2018 October 1, 2016–June 30, 2018 2015
    Fall 2018, Spring 2019 or Summer 2019 October 1, 2017–June 30, 2019 2016