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Your Guide to the 2015-2016 FAFSA
Transcript of Your Guide to the 2015-2016 FAFSA
Your Guide to the 2015-2016 FAFSA
Do I qualify?
What is it?
What is the FAFSA?
It's a Free Application for Federal Student Aid used by schools to calculate a student's funding eligibility (student aid).
Every year a student has to complete the FAFSA and if a student is a dependent, a parent must also file the FAFSA.
Jan - Feb 15:
Get the FAFSA filed, submit all admissions requests
March - April:
Admission response, financial aid award letters sent
Deposits due, you may be selected for verification
June - August:
Billing statements should be received, payment plans determined, student loans disbursed
Jan next year:
File new FAFSA
*This is a general schedule; yours might be different based on your state and institutional deadlines.
What documents do I need?
Social Security number
Driver’s license (if any)
2014 W-2 forms and other records of money earned
Student (and spouse if married) 2014 Federal Income Tax Return.
IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040 EZ
Foreign Tax Return, or
Tax Return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
Parents’ 2014 Federal Income Tax Return (for dependent students)
2014 untaxed income records
Current bank statement information
Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
Alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
Make it easy and file electronically!
Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool with E-Filed Taxes
Students and Parent each need to apply for their own unique PIN
E-Sign your FAFSA with PIN
Go to Gov site: https://pin.ed.gov
* Keep this PIN handy, you will use this each year you apply for financial aid
Selective Service: www.sss.gov
Selective Services is an inactive draft in case of National Emergency
All Males must register for financial aid eligibility
Cost of Attendance (COA):
Total costs associated with attendance including tuition, room, board, books, transportation and misc. Total COA will be greater than the amount due on billing statement.
Terms You Should Know
Accuracy counts- Issues might slow you down!
Use unique emails for students and parents
Most common errors are: Date of Birth & Social Security Number
Make sure to triple check your work, as DOB errors, wrong email addresses or SS# are major issues that will slow you down!
File the Correct Year: 2015- 2016 for the upcoming Fall!
Search your options!
List up to 10 schools to receive your funding packages from
School Selection:Know your options!
On-campus = Higher COA
You should list “On campus” if you are unsure whether you will live with your parents
With parent = Lower COA
Off-campus = COA varies
Housing affects Cost Of Attendance
School Selection: Housing
*Your choice of housing may affect the amount of financial aid for which you are eligible.
*Selecting the "On-campus" housing option is NOT an application for on-campus housing. Contact your college or university directly regarding their application process for on-campus housing.
Two Student Types
Independent (graduate student, 24 years of age +)
What’s the difference?
Dependent students must include parent tax and asset information on the FAFSA.
have to include parent tax and asset information, but
include their spouse if married.
*Be ready to document your status if requested by the school.
If taxes are not ready, estimating is okay. You can always go back and correct the information later.
If this is your status, follow up with your financial aid office to determine eligibility for increased financial aid via appeal.
Parent income on FAFSA
*It’s better to file the FAFSA on-time with good financial estimates than to file the FAFSA late with perfect numbers.
Student Section: Tax Information
& Reporting Assets
Students don’t always file taxes
Often simpler than parent section
Student assets are weighed heavily against financial aid
Cash “As of today”
: Any extra cash spent yesterday on school supplies is not claimed today as a FAFSA asset.
E-Sign using unique PIN
Confirmation and Date Release Number (DRN)
Keep this for your record in case of an error
Follow up with your school’s financial aid office with questions
After FAFSA is complete
Apply for admissions
Compare financial aid offers
Make informed decisions
Finalize your commitment
Get ready for College!
For FAFSA tips and more visit
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Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
The amount of money your family is expected to put towards college costs in one academic year. This this impacts financial aid eligibility.
Need based funding:
Grants and other funding awarded considering financial need. Students with a low EFC, and consequently have high need typically qualify for increased grants.
Merit Based funding: M
onies awarded considering high grades, GPA, class rank, or for sports / athletics, community service / leadership, or other student qualities
Cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution equals financial need, a further determining factor in awarding need-based financial aid.