Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.  Be certain that you are using the .gov site to assure that you are using the secure federal processing site.  You complete the FAFSA after January 1 of the upcoming academic year (January 1, 2014 for 2014-2015).  Use estimated information to file early.  You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to correct your FAFSA later if you were required to file a tax return.  A record cannot be created in the Office of Financial Aid for incoming students until the FAFSA is received with your Social Security number.

The FAFSA PIN you used during your undergraduate years is the same you will use now.  If you did not use federal aid or cannot remember that PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov in order to apply for or retrieve your PIN.  Keep this number in a safe place as you will use it to apply for student loans and access information after graduation. 

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is the most accurate way of transferring your income data to the FAFSA.  File your taxes and then allow five to seven days if filing electronically or three to four weeks if you filed your taxes by paper return.  Then correct or update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  If you do not or cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer data and you should be selected for verification, you must provide a federal tax transcript for that process.  A copy of your signed tax return is not sufficient. 

You also will need current asset information, even if not required to provide by the FAFSA  process.  Enter current checking, savings and cash on hand (liquid assets) on hand as of the date you file your FAFSA.  Also include net investments (restricted assets) such as certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds.  If you are not able to complete on the FAFSA, you may include this information on your EVMS Financial Aid and Scholarship applicaton. 

Review your FAFSA results (Student Aid Report) for accuracy after your application has been processed.  The comments section of your Student Aid Report will indicate if you have been selected for verification.  See Verification for more information about that process.

Read more under Title VII financial aid (Loans for Disadvantaged Students) if you will be appying for that loan.