Mapping Your Future: Contributing to a student's FAFSA - what to do when the invite isn't received


Contributing to a student's FAFSA - what to do when the invite isn't received

By Catherine Mueller

March 01, 2024

Sure, sometimes high school students don’t want to invite their parents to something, but in the case of the FAFSA, most students need to invite their parents.

Students completing the 2024-25 FAFSA (if they are determined to be dependent students) are asked to invite their parent or parents to contribute to the FAFSA. Students need to provide the name, date of birth, social security number, and email address for their parent or parents.

Sometimes, however, parents don’t receive the invitation email, (and it’s not because the student didn’t want to invite them). If that’s the case, here are some steps to take when the invite isn’t received:

  • Check to make sure the parent information is entered correctly. Parents may want to be there when the student is entering their information to make sure it is accurate. If the student has submitted their portion of the FAFSA, they may need to wait until they receive a FAFSA Submission Summary to check the parent information and make any corrections.
  • Check the spam or junk email folder. It’s possible that the invite was identified as spam and went to one of those folders. If so, the parent should move it to their inbox and then follow the instructions in the email.
  • Log in to the parent account at If the information is entered correctly, the parent should have the invitation appear in the dashboard of their account. In fact, the parent or parents can skip worrying about the email invite all together and go straight to their account to complete their portion of the student’s FAFSA once they know the student has sent them an invite.
  • Check the answers to FAFSA questions. There are a few questions on the FAFSA that depending on how a student responds could prevent an invite from being sent to the parent. For example, if the student is determined to be independent, if the student indicates they have unusual circumstances, or if the student selected that they only want an unsubsidized Direct Loan. In those cases, a parent won’t need to contribute to a student’s FAFSA, but it could have an impact on the student’s financial aid if those answers are not correct. The student and parent or parents may want to review those questions on the FAFSA to make sure the answers accurately reflect the student's situation.
  • Call 1-800-4-FEDAID. If all else fails, call Federal Student Aid for assistance because there may be a technical issue that is preventing the parent from contributing to a student’s FAFSA.

Parent information is critical for a student’s FAFSA to be processed so both students and parents shouldn’t let a lost or missing invitation keep them from completing the form.