How to Apply for Financial Aid
Step 1: Create an FSA ID, a username and password that confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents.
Step 2: Complete the FAFSA
Step 3: Complete scholarship applications
Step 4: Accept Some, All or None of Your Financial Aid Package. You must reply to the financial aid office as no funds will be applied to your account without written record of your consent to accept the aid. Failure to accept the offer of aid in a timely manner could result in forfeiture of such listed aid
Step 5: Sign the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note
Step 6: Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
Some FAFSA applications will be selected by the Department of Education for verification. Students will be notified that their application has been selected for verification on their Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education. Financial aid offers cannot be finalized until the financial aid office has completed verification. Failure to provide data will result in delays, and possible cancellation of Federal aid. If errors are found, the financial aid office will make the necessary corrections–most generally with an electronic process that only takes a few days. The student will receive a new SAR Information Acknowledgement from the Central Processor so they’ll know what corrections were made.
If an application has been selected for verification, the financial aid office will notify the student of the required documents to be submitted to the financial aid office:
FAFSA Correction Using the IRS Data Retrieval Process
This process is available to the student and/or parent tax filer within 2 weeks after electronically filing your Federal income tax return (6-8 weeks if the tax return is filed by paper). This is the fastest, easiest and most accurate way to include your Federal income tax information on the FAFSA application.
- Go to www.fafsa.gov
- Log into your FAFSA record.
- Select “Make FAFSA Corrections”.
- Navigate to the Financial Information section of the form for the student (all students) and parent (dependent students).
- Follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into your FAFSA.
Requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript
Federal income tax filers (students and parents) who elect not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process or do not qualify to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process must submit an IRS Tax Transcript to the Financial Aid Office. To request a transcript free of charge from the IRS, select one of the following methods:
- On the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov . In the online services section, click “order a tax return or account transcript” then click “order a transcript”. Enter the tax filer’s social security number, date of birth, street address, and zip code. Click “continue”. In the type of transcript field, select “return transcript” and in the tax year field, select the appropriate tax year. You can expect to receive a paper IRS tax return transcript within 5-10 days.
- Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946. Enter the tax filer’s social security number and the numbers in their street address. Select “option 2” to request an IRS tax return transcript and then enter the appropriate tax year. You can expect to receive a paper IRS tax return transcript within 5-10 days.
- Fill out a paper request form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ which can be downloaded at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf. Complete lines 1-4 with the tax filer’s information. On line 6, enter the appropriate tax year. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return. Mail or fax the completed form to the appropriate address provided on page 2 of the form. You can expect to receive a paper IRS tax return transcript within 5-10 days.
In addition to W2 forms, only parents and independent students will need to submit a Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS for the appropriate tax year. To request a letter free of charge from the IRS, see the following steps:
- Download a 4506T form at irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf.
- Complete lines 1-4 with the tax filer’s information.
- Check box 7 to request the Verification of Non-Filing Letter.
- Enter the requested tax year on line 9.
- Check the box that you’ve read the attestation clause, sign, date, and list a valid phone number. Fax or mail the form to the address or fax number listed on page two.
- Your letter will be mailed in 5-10 business days.