Collect your parents’ and if applicable, your income tax returns, Social Security numbers, W-2 form(s), and other records of income and assets. Tax information can be estimated and corrected later if a tax return has not yet been completed. Get free information and assistance from a school counselor, the Financial Aid Office at the college you plan to attend, or the U.S. Department of Education at www.studentaid.ed.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Students and Parents should apply for a federal student aid FSA ID which is comprised of a user-selected username and password. With your FSA ID, you can “sign” your FAFSA electronically and complete the federal student aid process completely online. Also you can make corrections to your application once it is filed and access your information online. If you are under 24 years old, it is likely you and one of your parents will each need an FSA ID. You can apply for an FSA ID at www.fsaid.ed.gov. You will use the same FSA ID to reapply and to access your student aid records each year.
An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access you own personal Information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.
Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature.
You, and your parent if you’re a dependent student, can apply for an FSA ID any time. If you don’t have one by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you will be prompted to apply for one. However, if you think the Social Security Administration might have the wrong name or date of birth for you in its records, go to www.ssa.gov to find out how to correct any errors. Your information must be correct with SSA before you can get an FSA ID and your FAFSA can be processed.
You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain ED websites, including this one. Create an FSA ID now.
The FSA ID process consists of three main steps:
1. Enter your log-in information.
2. Enter your personal information.
3. Submit your FSA ID information.
If you have forgotten your username or password, you’ll find links that give you the option of retrieving your username or password through your verified e-mail address or by successfully answering your challenge questions.If you have forgotten your username but verified your e-mail address when creating your FSA ID, you can use your e-mail address in place of your username whenever you are logging in with your FSA ID.
If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must update your username and password by selecting “Edit My FSA ID” from the log-in page. Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you are concerned that your FSA ID has been misused.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application for federal student assistance. You can apply before you have been admitted to DFA starting October 1st prior to the academic year you plan to attend. Apply online by going to www.fafsa.gov. Internet access is available at the financial aid office at the DFA campus.
For free help in completing your FAFSA or to obtain a paper FAFSA you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1800-4-FED-AID (1800-433-3243). For federal student financial aid information online you can go to www.studentaid.ed.gov.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you and your parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA. Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA. It’s available 1-2 weeks after you file your income tax return electronically. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, it is highly recommended that you use the tool for several reasons:
Note: To fill out and submit your FAFSA is FREE. There are websites and services not associated with the federal government that will charge you to fill out your FAFSA. You don’t have to pay anyone for assistance and there are many free resources for help, such as the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling (800) 433-3243 and the college you plan on attending.
You can apply for financial aid even before you’ve been accepted to a college.
For the 2018–19 year, you will be able to apply between Oct. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019. However, there are a few federal student aid programs that have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can once the FAFSA is available for the year you’ll be attending school.
Yes. You need to apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year when you apply, some information from the previous year’s FAFSA will be filled in. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on you making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.
No, you don’t need to. If you apply using FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.gov, you can get online instructions for each question, and you can chat live online with a customer service representative. Another source for free help can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov..
Whether you apply online or use the paper FAFSA, You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) with questions about the FAFSA on the Web, the paper application process or about general federal student financial aid. You may also visit the financial aid office at your CUNY campus for financial aid help.
You can check the status of your FAFSA immediately after submitting it online. You can check the status of a paper FAFSA after it has been processed (roughly 7–10 days from the date mailed). Here’s how:
If your FAFSA is still being processed, you should wait a few days before checking the status again.
No. You can apply for financial aid any time after October 1, prior to the academic year you plan to attend. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at DFA.
Talk to your financial aid administrator in your schools’ financial aid office. If your family’s circumstances have changed from the base year, due to loss of employment, loss of benefits, death or divorce, your school may decide to adjust data elements used to calculate your EFC. The adjustment might increase your eligibility for student aid.
Only if the relative is your adoptive parent. Dependent students can be considered dependent only on their parent(s) and must report only parental information on the FAFSA. You must report any cash support given by relatives, but not in-kind support (such as food and housing) from relatives.
You should not report any information for a friend or roommate unless the two of you are actually married or are considered to have a common-law marriage under state law. You must report any cash support given by the friend as untaxed income but should not report in-kind support (such as food). You would have to report as untaxed income the rent the roommate paid on your behalf.
Generally, grants, scholarships and federal work-study that do not exceed your cost of attendance are not considered income while filling out your FAFSA. Student aid is considered income when its taxable student grant and scholarship aid such as fellowships and assistantships which are reported to the IRS in your parents or your adjusted gross income.
If you were a member of the National Guard or were a Reservist called to active duty for purposes other than training and were released under a condition other than dishonorable, you are considered a veteran for FAFSA purposes.
The parent with whom you lived the most during the 12 months preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support during the preceding 12 months or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given.
If you are a dependent student and your parent is remarried, the stepparent’s information must be included or you will not be considered for federal student financial aid. If you believe that your situation is unique or unusual other than the stepparent’s simple refusal to provide the requested information, you should discuss the matter further with your financial aid administrator.
Anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support from a dependent student’s parents or an independent student and spouse may be counted in the household size. For example, a sibling who is over 24 but still receives the majority of his/her support from the parents can be included. Siblings who are dependent (as defined by the FAFSA) as of the date you apply for aid are also included, regardless of whether they receive more than 50% of their support from the parents. Any other person who resides in the household and receives more than 50% support from the parents may also be counted, as long as they will continue to reside with your parents and the support is expected to continue through June 30, 2016. An unborn child who will be born during the award year may also be counted in the household size.
Household size and tax exemptions are not necessarily the same. Exemptions look at the previous year or tax year and household size refers to the school year for which the student is applying for aid.
Report only your mother’s income and asset information because you lived with her the most during the past 12 months. Use a W-2 Form or other record(s) to determine her share of the income reported and taxes paid on the tax return.
You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and taxes paid.
Any person (other than your parents) who is counted in the household and will be attending any term of the academic year at least half time. The person must be working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized education credential at a postsecondary school eligible to participate in the federal student aid programs. You (the student) need not be enrolled half time to be counted in the number in college.
You report information about the parent you lived with for the greater amount of time during the 12 months preceding the date of application. If you didn’t live with either parent, or if you lived with each parent an equal number of days, use information about the parent who provided the greater amount of financial support during the 12 months preceding the date of application. If you didn’t receive any parental financial support during that time, you must report information about the parent who most recently provided the greater amount of parental support.
If the parent you receive financial support from was a single parent who is now married, or the parent was divorced or widowed but has remarried, your stepparents financial information is required on the FAFSA.
It’s a federal regulation. There are basic requirements a student must meet to be considered an independent student. If you do not meet these requirements but you still believe you are truly independent of your parents, you may appeal for a “dependency override” in the financial aid office at your school. In unusual cases, the financial aid administrator can change your dependency based on adequate documentation of special circumstances you may have.
You can list up to 10 schools on your FAFSA. Those schools will receive your FAFSA results electronically.
When filling out your FAFSA enter 10 schools. After your FAFSA is processed you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report), at that time you will be able to make modifications online or by phone and add additional schools.
A few days after you complete the FAFSA you will receive an email from ‘Federal Student Aid’ with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR contains a summary of your FAFSA information and a calculation of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. Review your SAR to see if any additional information or corrections may be needed. It’s possible that you may need to provide additional information before your Expected Family Contribution can be calculated. You can also access your SAR at www.fafsa.gov with your FSA ID.
The office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. You’ll get your SAR within three days to three weeks after you submit your FAFSA. Be sure to look over your SAR to make sure you didn’t make a mistake on your FAFSA.
Review it carefully to make sure it’s correct and complete. If it is and if it contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The schools listed on your FAFSA will appear on your SAR, they’ll receive your SAR information electronically.
You can make changes online at www.fafsa.gov or you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1 800-433-3243.
If you need to make corrections to the SAR/FAFSA, you can make them online at www.fafsa.gov. You can make a few changes to your SAR information by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
The U.S. Department of Education selects a certain number of applicants for a verification process. If you have been selected, tax filers will need to submit Tax Return Transcript(s) from the IRS and other documents to your school’s financial aid office to verify the data you supplied on your FAFSA.
Being selected for verification does not necessarily mean that you made an error in filling out your FAFSA but in order to receive financial aid that you have been awarded, you will have to submit IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) and other documents requested by your school’s financial aid office.
To order a Tax Return Transcript, go to www.irs.gov, and click on Get Transcript of Your Tax Records and follow the steps or call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
Instead of ordering a Tax Transcript you can import your tax information into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Here is an IRS Data Retrieval Tutorial.
The federal government uses a process called verification to help determine the accuracy of the financial information on your FAFSA. If your application needs to be verified, you will have comments on your SAR indicating what actions you need to take to complete the verification process. Your electronic record will also indicate that verification must be completed before any federal student aid payments are made. If your application is selected for verification, or if there are any other questions about your application, the financial aid office will send you a letter/and or email requesting you to provide documentation and complete a “Verification Worksheet”. Tax filers will have to submit a Tax Return Transcript that is obtained from the IRS or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web.
Once your FAFSA is complete and you demonstrate financial need, your selected college will send you an award notice indicating the financial aid programs for which you qualify. If you are not eligible for need based financial aid, you can contact the financial aid office at your college to find out other options to finance your education.
It depends on when the college sends out their notifications. Some colleges will send you an award notice as soon as you are accepted (if your financial aid application is complete). Other colleges will have a set date when all award notices are sent to accepted students. Some colleges have rolling dates when they generate notices so you will get your award notification after you are accepted and as soon as your financial aid application is complete. Check with the college that accepted you.
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