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 their own deadline.
For incoming freshman, they should have filled out this form back in November 2017 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, 2018, and the second priority deadline was March 1, 2018. 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 2016 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, 2019.
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 2016 tax return for the academic year starting in Fall 2018 through Spring 2019( even though a freshman is a first-time applicant for the 2018-2019 school year). If you do not qualify this year (maybe 2016 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, go to fau.edu/finaid/resources/forms.php#appeal
Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file the FAFSA using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you could submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2019 need to submit a 2018-2019 application using the 2016 tax and income information). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well. In addition, if an amended return was filed, the IRS will notify the individual financial aid office.
If your financial situation has changed since the 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 2018-2019 FAFSA using your 2016 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.