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FAFSA Tips

  • "You" and "your" always refer to the student who is completing the FAFSA.
  • Use the name that appears on the student's Social Security card. Do not use nicknames.
  • Read the FAFSA instructions before filling out the form and follow the instructions exactly.
  • You may be able to pull your tax data into the FAFSA by choosing to use the IRS data retrieval process option on the FAFSA.
  • Check that the Social Security number and birth date are correct.
  • List the student's full permanent mailing address.
  • Answer all questions that require a dollar figure with a number. If your answer to an income or asset question is zero, write the number "0". Do not use NA, not applicable or a dash. Only skip an item if the instructions specifically state that you should.
  • Do not report cents - round dollar figures to the nearest whole dollar. (e.g. report $45,150.65 as 45,151.)
  • Use annual, not monthly amounts for requested earnings and benefits information.
  • Do not report the amount of federal income tax withheld from paychecks, self-employment taxes or state taxes. The correct answer is the amount of tax paid as reported on the line of the tax return used. If you are estimating income information because the tax return is not yet prepared, estimate the tax to be paid.
  • Report only net worth (value minus debt) of real estate, investments and assets.
  • FAFSA online allows both the student and parent to sign electronically with a FSA ID that you can secure by applying at FSAID.ed.gov. If the parent does not have a FSA ID, a signature page will need to be printed out and mailed in to the processor.
  • Do not send tax forms, letters or other correspondence with the FAFSA. They will not be read and will be discarded.
  • Make copies of all federal income tax returns you submitted to the IRS. You may be required to submit a tax return transcript to the school.
  • Filing deadline to be considered for university need-based scholarships and campus-based aid and SEOG Grant is March 1.