How to Answer FAFSA Question #85: Parents Adjusted Gross Income

Return To FAFSA Guide
If your answer to question 59 was “Unmarried and both parents living together,” contact 1-800-433-3243 for assistance with answering questions 80-94.

85. What was your parents’ adjusted gross income for 2018? Adjusted gross income is on IRS Form 1040—line 7.
  • $__ , __ __ __ , __ __ __

Why are they asking this information?

Your parent / parents’ Adjusted Gross Income is considered to be their true income after certain deductions.

How to answer this question / fill out this section

This figure can be found on either Line 37 (1040), Line 21 (1040A), or Line 4 (1040EZ) of their Federal tax return. Parents who are married, but file separate returns will need to combine their AGIs from their individual return for this field.

Additional considerations

If your parent/parents are eligible and choose to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, the fields in this section will automatically be populated for them. The IRS Data Retrieval tool can be accessed by clicking the “Link To IRS” button found on the first page of the Parent Financial Information section. Your parents will be directed to the IRS interface webpage where they will need to enter their information again to access their tax data. When they enter this data completely and transfer this data, it will automatically populate the corresponding fields back into your FAFSA. This is a useful tool to make sure that your parent(s)’ tax return figures are accurate in your FAFSA.


Please check back shortly as we are currently updating this step-by-step guide for the 2019-2020 FAFSA.