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 FAQ Topic Links (Expand to see sub-topics, where applicable)

collapse Federal
expand Can I choose to report 2016 income if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed?
No, you must report the information for the required year.  If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, visit your campus financial aid administrator about your family’s situation. 
expand I completed my FAFSA on-line/electronically. How do I obtain my SAR (Student Aid Report)?
The student may access the SAR on the Web.
expand I filed the FAFSA on paper and have not received my SAR. Who should I contact?

Contact the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center at:

 

1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

expand I filed the FAFSA on paper. Who do I contact regarding receipt of my FAFSA?

Contact the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center at:

 

1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

expand What are "Special Circumstances", and how are they reported?
"Special Circumstances" are unusual situations that may affect a student's EFC. They are submitted to the financial aid administrator at the school of attendance (with supporting documentation). These circumstances could include unusual medical expenses, tuition expenses, loss of benefits, and unemployment.
expand What are Federal Campus-Based Student Aid Programs?
Federal Programs that are administered at the campus-level, according to need, funding levels, and institutional established filing deadlines. They include: Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan.
expand What are the advantages to using Prior, Prior Year?
Students can submit the FAFSA earlier by not waiting to complete their current year tax returns.  The numbers will be actual figures which eliminates guessing or estimating.  Students and families will now have more time to explore and understand their financial aid options.
expand What if I did not use the IRS DRT on my 2016-17 FAFSA and the income reported on my 2017-18 FAFSA is different?
When the data does not match, a “pop up” warning will appear in the FAFSA application.  If you choose to ignore it, this may cause delays in processing and you might be contacted by your financial aid administrator to resolve issues related to the differences.   
expand What is Prior, Prior Year (PPY)?
Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, FAFSA applicants are required to report information from their 2015 tax returns – which translates into “prior to the prior year.”  FAFSA applicants will then be required to use 2016 tax information on the 2018-19 FAFSA application. 
expand What is the IRS DRT?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows students and parents to automate the data from the IRS tax return and auto fill the necessary data directly into their FAFSA.

 

TIP: Create a FSA ID for the student and one for the parent before the FAFSA process. The FSA ID is used for identification purposes to sign and make corrections to the FAFSA, to use the IRS DRT, and to access federal student loan information.

expand What is the meaning of the term "EFC"?
"EFC" means “Expected Family Contribution”. This number is calculated from a student's information reported on the FAFSA, and is used to determine the ‘need'. The EFC will on the Student Aid Report.
expand Where can I get more information or help with the FAFSA?
As you fill out the FAFSA at fafsa.gov, you can access the hints text box for every question and the Federal Government’s FAFSA help line is 1-800-433-3243.
expand Who does the student contact regarding "Special Circumstances"?
Contact the financial aid administrator at the student's college/institution of attendance.
expand Who is the "lender" for William D. Ford Direct Student Loans (Federal Direct Stafford Loans)?
The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for Direct Student Loans.
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