How do I apply for aid?
How do I apply for aid?
Complete the FAFSA and provide the required signatures.
Wait 3-5 days while we process your FAFSA and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR).
Check the SAR carefully. Your SAR will summarize the data you report on your FAFSA.
Keep a copy of your SAR.
View your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If your FAFSA information is complete, an EFC will appear in the upper right corner of your SAR. Your EFC is based on the financial information you provide on the FAFSA.
Check with your school. Your school will use your EFC to award your financial aid.
For additional help filling out the FAFSA, select Completing the FAFSA.
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How do I answer the tax questions if I (or my parents) don't file a tax return?
If you will not file a tax return:
Answer “Not going to file” to the “Have you completed a tax return?” question.
You will then be taken to the “Income earned from work” question.
Enter any income that you earned from a job that is listed as taxed on a W-2 form.
Answer only those income questions that apply to you from that point on.
If your parents will not file a tax return:
Answer “Not going to file” to the “Have your parents filed a tax return?” question.
You will then be taken to the “income earned from work” question.
Enter any income that your parents earned from a job that is listed as taxed on a W-2 form.
Answer only those income questions that apply to your parents from that point on.
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I (or my parents) filed a joint tax return in 2008, but now I am (or my parents are) separated, divorced, or widowed. How do I answer the tax questions?
You: Separate your tax information from your spouse’s as if you filed a single return.
Your parent: Separate your parent’s information from his/her spouse’s as if he/she filed a single return. Not sure which parent’s information to report? Click here.
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What if I am unable to provide my parents’ information, their income information and signature, due to special circumstances?
Under Federal law your family is primarily responsible-to the extent they are able-for paying for your college expenses. To determine how much your family can afford to pay towards your college expenses, we must collect your financial information and if you are a dependent student, we must also collect your parents' financial information.
Under very limited circumstances, an otherwise dependent student may be able to submit the FAFSA without parental information due to special circumstances. Before you proceed to skip the parental section of your FAFSA, consider the following:
Examples of special circumstances where you may be able to submit your FAFSA without providing parental information include:
Your parents are incarcerated; or
You have left home due to an abusive family environment; or
You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted).
Not all situations are considered a special circumstance. The following are situations that would not be considered a special circumstance:
Your parents do not want to provide their information on your FAFSA; or
Your parents refuse to contribute to your college expenses; or
Your parents do not claim you as a dependent on their income taxes; or
You do not live with your parents.
If you believe you have a special circumstance and are unable to provide parental information, you should complete information about you and your finances and skip any questions about your parents. You should sign your FAFSA with your PIN and leave your parent's PIN blank. It is important to note:
We will allow you to submit your FAFSA without parental information, however your FAFSA will not be considered complete.
Because your FAFSA is not considered complete, we will not calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the index used by colleges to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive.
If you are approaching any deadlines for your state, college, or scholarship aid, you may want to contact your financial aid administrator (FAA) before submitting your FAFSA without parental data.
Once you submit your FAFSA without parental data, you must follow up with the FAA at the college you plan to attend, in order to complete your FAFSA and receive an EFC. Also note the following:
Under Federal law, only your FAA has the authority to decide whether or not you must provide parental information on your FAFSA.
You will have to provide documentation to verify your situation. Gather as much written evidence of your situation as you can. Written evidence may include court or law enforcement documents, letters from a clergy member, school counselor or social worker, and/or any other relevant data that explains your special circumstance.
After reviewing your circumstances carefully, your FAA will decide if you must provide parental information or if your circumstances allow you to proceed without providing parental data. Your FAA’s decision is final and can not be appealed to Federal Student Aid.
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How do I get a Federal School Code for a foreign school?
Click here to access the Federal School Code search tool.
Can’t find the code? Many foreign schools do not have Federal School Codes. If the foreign school of your choice does not have a code, here’s what you should do:
Enter a domestic school into the application, even if you are not planning to attend that school. This will allow you to complete and submit your FAFSA.
Notify the foreign school once your FAFSA is processed so the school can retrieve and review your application.
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How do I report the financial aid I received last year as part of my income?
Money you or your parents received from student loans, grants, and scholarships should not be listed on your FAFSA, unless you were taxed on them by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you or your parents reported financial aid money to the IRS, then you must include that total amount as part of your Adjusted Gross Income and in the appropriate location on the Additional Financial Information section in questions c and d.
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I have already submitted a FAFSA for this school year. Can I submit another FAFSA using FAFSA on the Web?
No. If you have already submitted a FAFSA (for instance, your school already submitted an electronic application for you, you submitted a paper FAFSA, or you filed for aid using FAFSA on the Web), do not submit another application.
If you need to make corrections to the FAFSA you filed, click here.
If you have further questions, refer to the Customer Service page or select Check Status of a Submitted FAFSA or Print Signature Page under the FAFSA Follow-Up section of the home page.
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I submitted two applications for the same year. What will happen?
We use only the first application we receive. All other applications are deleted from our system.
To make corrections to your application, view your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will receive it either by e-mail or by mail. The SAR includes instructions for making corrections.
You can use Corrections on the Web to make your changes, or you can make the corrections to your paper SAR and mail it in.
You may also check with the financial aid office at your school to determine if they can make electronic corrections for you.
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Can I have someone else fill out my FAFSA for me?
Yes. If you have someone else fill out your FAFSA for you (not including one of your parents or your spouse), you should make sure they list themselves as a “preparer” at the end of your FAFSA.
A preparer should never ask for your PIN, apply for a PIN on your behalf, or sign your FAFSA using your PIN. The security of your PIN is important because it can be used to:
Electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents,
Access your personal records, and
Make binding legal obligations.
Remember, the FAFSA is a completely FREE application. If you need help filling it out, there are many free tools available to help you. You don’t need to pay anyone to help you fill out your FAFSA.
The best place to look for help filling out your FAFSA is at your school’s financial aid office. If you need help with a specific question, click on “NEED HELP?” located at the bottom of every FAFSA page.
TIP: You can also get one-on-one help from a customer service representative by clicking on “Live Help” at the top of the FAFSA page.
If you have further questions, refer to the Customer Service page.
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Which states allow students who qualify for an Automatic Zero EFC (Expected Family Contribution) to skip certain income questions?
If you qualify for an Automatic Zero EFC and reside in one of the following states, you may be allowed to skip:
Income tax and exemption questions.
Additional Financial Information and Untaxed Income questions.
Asset questions.
American Samoa
British Columbia
Federated States of Micronesia
Foreign Country
Marshall Islands
New Brunswick
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Puerto Rico
Quebec (PQ)
Quebec (QC)
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Virgin Islands
West Virginia
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