Completing the FAFSA
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is a form administered by the U.S. Department of Education. By the information you provide from tax forms, W-2s, other earned income, etc., third parties such as college institutions are able to award college aid.
Complete the FAFSA with enough time for you to receive and forward a PDF of your SAR to the Foundation.
Who Completes the FAFSA?
Dependent students – are under the age of 24 and must complete the FAFSA with parents’ completed/filed federal tax returns.
Independent students – are at least age 24 or you are under age 24 and meet any one of the criteria below. The FAFSA must be completed with your own and/or your spouses completed/filed federal tax returns.
- You are in the military
- You are a graduate student
- You are married
- You have a child
- You are/were a ward of the court
How do I access the FAFSA?
- Online application accessed at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Ensure that you are accessing the correct academic year application.
- FAFSA information must be based off of completed Federal 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ Tax forms.
What do I need to complete the FAFSA?
You will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. You may also need records of your parents’ income information if you are a dependent student.
- Your Social Security card. It is important that you enter your Social Security Number correctly.
- Your driver’s license (if any)
- Your W-2 forms and other records of money earned
- Your (and if married, your spouse’s) Federal Income Tax Return
- Your IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
- Foreign Tax Return
- Your Parents’ Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
- Your untaxed income records
- Your current bank statements
- Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stocks, bonds and other investment records
Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail your records to Federal Student Aid.
Submitting the Student Aid Report (SAR)
What is the SAR?
Your Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizes all the information you provided on your FAFSA. Your SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used in determining your eligibility for federal student aid and also the number the Foundation uses to determine financial need. Your EFC will appear in the upper right-hand portion of the SAR.
You will receive your SAR by e-mail within 3-5 days after your FAFSA has been processed, if you provided an e-mail address when you applied. The e-mail from FAFSA will contain a secure link for you to access your SAR online.
If you have a “junk” folder or “spam” folder in your e-mail files, check it. The e-mail from FAFSA might be delivered there instead of your inbox.
The Foundation will accept electronic SARs if it meets the following criteria:
- FAFSA (SAR) is completed without conditions under the “What you must do now” heading.
- Ensure that there is a dollar amount populated for the EFC. We will not be able to calculate your financial need if there is an asterisk (*) populated in the EFC area or if the EFC is calculated using estimated or the previous year’s taxes.
- Line #80 reflects “ALREADY COMPLETED”.
What do I do once I receive the SAR?
Electronic PDF SARs can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I Submit the Print Summary?
After submitting your information electronically, you will have access to a Print Summary which is a summarization of the information you submitted. This will not be accepted by the Foundation. We will accept only the SAR form.