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On my SAR it indicates that I have been selected for verification. What does that mean?


This means you will need to supply documentation to your financial aid office. This process is used to make sure the information that the student provided is accurate. Verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all the aid for which they are entitled.


If I (the student) am separated but filed a joint tax return, how is the information reported?


You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and taxes paid.


What should I do if the parent with whom I live is remarried and the stepparent refuses to supply information?


If you are a dependent student and your parent is remarried, the stepparent’s information must be included. By signing the FAFSA you agree to submit information verifying the accuracy of your completed form if requested. There are penalties for giving false or misleading information.


You may apply with the school’s Financial Aid Office for a Professional Judgment if you feel your situation warrants individual attention. Generally, an exception will not be made based on a refusal by the parent to provide information. However, the school will make a determination based on the facts of your case and your documentation. The school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.


Why must I report the highest school level my parents completed?


Some states and schools make money available to support students who are first generation college students. It also serves statistical purposes. If you don’t know the answer, select “(other/unknown).”


Do I have to submit a new FAFSA every year?

Yes. You must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year you want to apply for federal and state aid.

Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed before submitting FAFSA?


Yes. Ideally, you should wait until your taxes are done. However, you should check with the school you are planning to attend to ensure you do not miss their deadline date.


I didn’t submit my FAFSA in January and it’s now April. Are there any penalties for waiting so long to submit my FAFSA?

Ideally, you should complete a FAFSA as soon as possible, this year the open date will be October 1, 2020. Most schools deadlines are well in advance of the corresponding State and Federal deadlines. And many colleges award aid on a first come first served basis.

The federal deadline is June 30 of the school year. (For instance, June 30, 2020, is the federal deadline for the 2021-2022 school year). However, the college must have your correct, complete information by your last day of enrollment in the school year–which may be earlier than June 30.

Do I have to be a citizen of the United States to be eligible for financial aid?

You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • A U.S. Citizen

  • A U.S. National (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)

  • A U.S. Permanent Resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)

If you are not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service) showing one of the following endorsements:

  • “Refugee”

  • “Asylum Status”

  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”

  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

  • “Parolee”

If you have only a Notice of Approval to apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you aren’t eligible for federal student aid.

If you are in the United States on certain visas, including an F-1 or F-2 student visa, or a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor visa, you are not eligible for federal student aid. Also, persons with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible. For more information about other types of visas that are not acceptable, check with your school’s financial aid office.

Citizens and eligible noncitizens may receive loans from the FFEL Program at participating foreign schools. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or Federal Work-Study. These applicants should check with their schools’ financial aid offices for more information.


Do I need a Social Security number to apply for Federal Student Aid?

Generally, you must have a Social Security number (SSN) to be eligible for Federal Aid. If you submit a FAFSA without an SSN, your FAFSA will be returned to you unapproved.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a federal form you must fill out to qualify for most student financial aid.

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