Some things to remember
File the FAFSA Early: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by applying as soon as possible after Jan. 1 using previous year tax data (for example the 2014-2015 application will use 2013 tax information). Parents and students may estimate their income information as accurately as possible in order to complete the form and submit their FAFSA by the ABC priority deadline. Income and tax information can be updated later if needed. Please keep in mind that changes in reported information can impact a student’s financial aid package. Improvements to the FAFSA application process now allow for the completion of tax information questions from the IRS directly from your return! Follow the prompts while completing the application to authorize this information exchange. Always remember that there is no fee to apply for federal aid. The priority FAFSA application deadline for ABC is February 28th. This date is used to determine eligibility for some need based aid programs as well as State and Institutional funds, however you may still submit your application after this date. Applications received after the priority deadline will still be eligible for federal aid such as Pell Grant and Direct Loans.
Apply for a PIN: A PIN is a 4-digit number that is used in combination with your social security number, name and date of birth to identify you. It allows you and your student to electronically sign the FAFSA application. You and your student each apply for your own personal PIN. More information can be found at the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site. Parents can also use the same PIN to electronically sign the PLUS loan promissory note.
Student Eligibility: ABC uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine a student’s financial need and eligibility for various aid programs. A student’s financial aid award is designed to meet as much of his/her financial need and eligibility as possible, and is determined by the student’s need level and availability of funds. ABC offers merit-based scholarships, need and non-need based financial aid.
Student and Parent Contributions: According to the federal government, a dependent student and his/her family are expected to contribute toward the cost of the student’s education. The FAFSA takes into account a family’s financial picture, with allowances for federal and state taxes, college costs for siblings, asset protection, medical expenses, and other factors, and determines how much the student and the family can be expected to reasonably contribute toward their education. However, even if a student has no financial need as determined by the FAFSA, they are still eligible for some form of financial aid.
Special Circumstances: The FAFSA application uses tax data from the previous year, which may not always be an accurate reflection of your current situation especially in these difficult economic times. The Department of Education allows for an institution to use professional judgment to change certain elements of the FAFSA application if adequate documentation can be provided. If you or your family has experienced a loss of employment, change in marital status, or other extraordinary circumstance since you completed the FAFSA, you may appeal to have your situation reviewed by our office. If approved, your aid eligibility and financial need may be recalculated, based on the new information. You must file your FAFSA in the standard way and then submit your additional documentation for your special conditions appeal. Please contact our office for more information on this process.
Student Confidentiality: According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), ABC cannot release a student’s financial records to anyone without the student’s written consent, regardless of the student’s age, who is paying the student’s bills, or has power of attorney status over the student. If a student wants someone else to have access his/her ABC financial aid records, they need to complete the Consent for Release of Confidential Information Form, which is good for one academic year.