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Applying for Aid - FAFSA
Students seeking financial aid are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our office cannot determine a student's eligibility for financial aid until we have received the results of his or her FAFSA form.
To be qualified for most financial aid programs, students must have the FAFSA processed and to our office by March 1st. This means that in order to meet the priority deadline, a student's FAFSA must have been processed by the U.S. Department of Education, and the results of that processed application must have been sent to the school, by March 1st. A FAFSA that is postmarked by March 1st does not meet the priority deadline. Similarly, a FAFSA that is submitted online by March 1st does not meet the deadline unless the student has received an email confirmation from FAFSA that their application has been processed and the results have been sent to the school. Please keep in mind that our office will not receive the results of a FAFSA until the student has been admitted to the University.
Our office recommends that students seeking financial aid file the FAFSA no later than February 15th. FAFSAs may be filed as early as January 1st, and students seeking to receive priority consideration for federal grants and work-study should apply as soon after January 1st as possible.
Student and parent taxes do not have to be completed prior to a student filling out a FAFSA form. Families may use their taxes from the previous year to estimate the tax figures requested on the FAFSA. When completing a FAFSA form using estimated figures, simply answer, "I will file, but I have not yet completed my return" to the question asked at the beginning of the section requiring tax information.
IRS Data Retrieval - NEW
The IRS Date Retrieval is a tool that was introduced last year via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When completing the FAFSA, you may use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to populate the FAFSA form with the income information recorded on your federal tax forms (1040 or 1040 equivalent) and submitted to the IRS. The IRS Data Retrieval tool is not available until February 1 of each year. In order to utilize this tool your tax forms must have been received by the IRS at least two weeks prior to using the tool if you filed your federal tax forms electronically or at least 8 weeks prior to using the tool if you filed your federal tax forms via paper. Because of the amount of time a student and parent must wait before using the IRS Data Retrieval tool we strongly recommend that you do not use this tool when filing your original FAFSA form. The priority deadline for financial aid is March 1. The Financial Aid Office recommends that you file your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible by using estimated figures. At a later time the student and/or parent will receive a reminder from the U.S. Department of Education via email to correct the FAFSA with updated figures after tax forms have been filed. We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval tool for your FAFSA corrections only. Email reminders will be sent to parents and students March 15 and May 15 by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to retrieve these emails your spam or junk filters must be turned off. If you are selected for a process called verification and you do not update your FAFSA form at a later time by using the IRS Data Retrieval system, you will be required to submit a Tax Transcript from the IRS to our office. You may request a tax transcript online at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. You can request to have the IRS send the transcript directly to our office by filling out and submitting Form 4506-T to the IRS. This form is available on their website.
If you missed the March 1st priority deadline, you can still file the FAFSA form to apply for financial aid. The date a FAFSA is processed does not impact the amount of Pell Grant (if eligible), or student and parent loans that a student is offered. Filing the FAFSA form after the priority deadline only jeopardizes the amount of funding an eligible student may receive from programs with limited funds; such as, SEOG, Perkins Loan, FSU Grant, and Federal Work-Study.
We strongly encourage students to complete the FAFSA form online to avoid processing delays. FAFSA on the web has built in edit checks that guard against some errors that may occur when filling out the paper form.
Additionally, FAFSAs filed online are normally processed in 72 hours when both the parent and student sign the form using an FSAID. The normal processing time for a paper FAFSA is three to four weeks. Visit the FSAID Information page for details about the FSAID and how to obtain one.
You can complete the FAFSA online at the FAFSA site:
FAFSA Site - www.fafsa.ed.gov