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First Applicants Find Substantial Assets.
FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed, it may as well stand for First Applications Find Substantial Assets. Because aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has its own deadline. For incoming freshmen, they should have filled out this form back in November 2019 and listed the colleges they were interested in attending.
FAU’s school code is 001481 for the Boca Campus. FAU’s first priority deadline was January 1, 2020, and the second priority deadline was March 1, 2020. After March 1, applications reviewed in the order they were received. Of course, your student did not know if they were accepted back then, but they can speak with the Office of Financial Affairs to update their application if your circumstances have changed substantially from what was reported on your 2018 federal Income tax return. If your student has not yet filled out FAFSA, do it immediately. The deadline for the state of Florida is June 30, 2020.
The FAFSA is also available online. This is a first come first serve as these loans are limited and time-sensitive. You can complete the application initially using estimated tax information and do not need to wait for your taxes to start the process. And, there is now an app for filling out FAFSA which includes access to the IRS’ data-retrieval tool. The app is called myStudentAid which will allow students to fill out the FAFSA on their phones.
The FAFSA uses the 2018 tax return for the academic year starting in Fall 2019 through Spring 2020( even though a freshman is a first-time applicant for the 2019-2020 school year). If you do not qualify this year (maybe 2018 was a strong income year for you) you are entitled to an appeal. You will need to fill out a petition form but even if you petition, aid is still contingent upon fund availability. For more information about petitioning aid, click here.
FAFSA applications for the 2020-2021 opened on October 1, 1019. As a result of the prior year change in 2017, this application is prepared using your 2018 tax return. Summer applicants for 2020 would need to fill in a 2019-2020 FAFSA application which uses your 2017 individual income tax return. The deadline for applying for financial aid using the 2019-2020 FAFSA form is June 30, 2020. The deadline for the 2019-2020 FAFSA corrections or updates is September 12, 2020. The States and Universities have their own deadlines and your student may need to contact their universities financial aid office for any changes in their financial situation. On the 2020-2021 form there is a new question due to the change in federal tax forms 1040A and 1040EZ being eliminated. The question on FAFSA now asks whether you completed IRS Form 1040 Schedule 1.
If your financial situation has changed since filing the PPY tax return being used on your FAFSA then you will need to manually make the changes on FAFSA. For instance, if you are preparing the 2019-2020 FAFSA using your 2017 tax return and you filed as “married filing joint” tax return but you’re no longer married (divorced, single) then you would need to deduct the former spouse’s income and deduction amounts. In addition, if you were single on the tax return being used on the FAFSA and now you are married, you would need to make a manual calculation using your new spouse’s income and deductions.
Make certain you apply EVERY year. It may not be the perfect scenario, but it is how FAFSA works. For more information, click here.
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