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When is the FAFSA available? 

The FAFSA is available October 1st of each year and it uses IRS Tax information from 2 years prior.

What timeframe does the FAFSA cover?

The FAFSA is used to determine aid eligibility for Fall, Spring and Summer of each Academic Year. For example, 2021-2022 FAFSA covers Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022.

Can I sign the FAFSA electronically?

Yes, students and parents need to set up an FSA ID, with a secure password, so when the FAFSA is completed you can submit it with an electronic signature.

What if I set up an FSA ID last year and I forgot the password? 

There is a link within the FSA ID site that helps students if they are not able to recall their password.

What is the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

This is a process where the FAFSA links with the IRS to download the income information from a taxpayer’s 1040 tax return directly to the FAFSA income section.

If I use the Data Retrieval Tool, do I need to request an IRS Tax Transcript? 

No, using the DRT meets the income requirements for the FAFSA purposes. However, the financial aid office may need the Tax Transcript if other areas are being reviewed to assist students.

When I download the Tax information from the IRS will I be able to see the information in the FAFSA?

No, the FAFSA will not allow the information to be populated into the income fields of the FAFSA.  This is a new safeguard put in place as a security measure by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education. 

If I am not able to use the Data Retrieval Tool, do I need to request a Tax Transcript?

Most likely, if the DRT is not used, the U.S. Department of Education will select the file for Verification to review the income areas.  This will require students/spouse/parents to obtain an IRS Tax Transcript.

If I don’t file taxes, what am I required to obtain?

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, non-tax filers will be required to obtain a Non-Filing Verification form from the IRS much like a Tax Transcript.

How do I get a Tax Transcript or Non-Filing Verification Form?

You must obtain them directly from the IRS using a 4506-T form or you can use the IRS website to request the Tax Transcript.  There are instructions on the College Website to help with this process.