The amount of TAP, PELL and other government grant aid that you are eligible for varies depending on your family’s income and size of household. Each year, students must reapply for financial aid with information for the current year. If your family’s financial circumstances change, the aid that you are eligible for will change as well.
Generally, grants and scholarships that do not exceed tuition, fees, books, and required supplies are not considered income. Student aid is considered income when it’s taxable student grant and scholarship aid such as fellowships and assistantships which are reported to the IRS in your parents or your adjusted gross income.
You report the parent with whom you lived the most during the 12 months preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support during the preceding 12 months or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given. If the parent you receive financial support from was a single parent who is now married, or the parent was divorced or widowed but has remarried, your stepparents financial information is required on the FAFSA. This does not mean your stepparent is obligated to give financial assistance to you, but his or her income and assets represent significant information about the family’s resources.
You should provide the SSN and last name of the same person or people for whom you are reporting financial information. In this case, provide the SSNs and names of your mother and stepfather.
If you are a dependent student and your parent is remarried, the stepparent’s information must be included or you will not be considered for federal student financial aid. If you believe that your situation is unique or unusual other than the stepparent’s simple refusal to provide the requested information, you should discuss the matter further with a member of the Office of Financial Aid staff.
Anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support from a dependent student’s parents or an independent student and spouse may be counted in the household size. For example, a sibling who is over 24 but still receives the majority of his/her support from the parents can be included. Siblings who are dependent (as defined by the FAFSA) as of the date you apply for aid are also included, regardless of whether they receive more than 50% of their support from the parents. Any other person who resides in the household and receives more than 50% support from the parents may also be counted, as long as they will continue to reside with your parents and the support is expected to continue through June 30 2016. An unborn child who will be born during the award year may also be counted in the household size. Household size and tax exemptions are not necessarily the same. Exemptions look at the previous year or tax year and household size refers to the school year for which the student is applying for aid.
Report only your mother’s income and asset information because you lived with her the most during the past 12 months. Use a W-2 Form or other record(s) to determine her share of the income reported and taxes paid on the tax return.
You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and taxes paid.
Any person (other than your parents) who is counted in the household and will be attending any term of the academic year at least half time. The person must be working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized education credential at a postsecondary school eligible to participate in the federal student aid programs. You (the student) need not be enrolled half time to be counted in the number in college.
Your school must have your information by your last day of enrollment. If your school has not received your application information electronically, you must submit your paper SAR to the school by the deadline. Either the electronic record (ISIR) or the paper SAR that has been processed by the Department must have an official EFC. Once the school receives your information, it will use your EFC to determine the amount of your federal grant, loan, or workstudy award, if you are eligible. The FAA will send you a letter explaining the aid the school is offering.
If you do not receive your SAR Acknowledgement within two weeks or SAR within four weeks after submitting your application, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can use the automated system to find out whether your application has been processed or to request duplicate copies of your report. You will need to provide your Social Security Number and the first two letters of your last name. You can also check the status of your FAFSA and print a copy of your SAR at https://fafsa.ed.gov. If you apply on FAFSA on the Web, you will get a confirmation notice after you click on Submit.
Your FAFSA will be processed in two to four days. If you do get an email within a week you can check the status by going to https://fafsa.ed.gov. You can also check by contacting the Federal student aid Information center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
It’s a federal regulation. There are basic requirements a student must meet to be considered an independent student. If you do not meet these requirements but you still believe you are truly independent of your parents, you may appeal for a “dependency override” in the financial aid office at your school. In unusual cases, the financial aid administrator can change your dependency based on adequate documentation of special circumstances you may have.
Whenever you have problems or questions about your financial aid, you can come and speak to a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid, located in HN 241. Any change in your family’s circumstances (i.e. loss of employment, loss of benefits, death or divorce) should be reported so that we can help you adjust the data elements used to calculate your EFC. The adjustment might increase your eligibility for student aid to help you through your Hunter education.