Problems to Avoid When Completing the FAFSA and the Application Process
- Submit Your Financial Aid Application by Our March 15 Deadline. Many of our students begin the application process in July and August. A significant number arrive on campus having completed the FAFSA just days before or not at all. We cannot process applications for students who fail to apply timely and have funds available for them in time for registration. If you do not meet the filing deadline, be prepared to pay cash at registration.
- Use the Correct Federal Tax Filing Status. We have determined that many parents and students are filing federal tax returns as Head of Household when they were not eligible to use that filing status. When discovered, we must request an amended tax return and federal financial aid cannot be offered until the amended tax return(s) is received. We will scrutinize Head of Household filers very closely and you may be required to submit additional documentation to verify HOH filing status.
- Identify Student Documents. We receive many documents without the student’s name and FVSU ID number affixed. It is virtually impossible to match these documents and they were put in our Student Unknown File. Affix the student’s name and FVSU ID number on each page of every document you submit to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Financial Data Submitted by Someone Other than the Parent. The FAFSA must include the financial data of ONLY the natural or adoptive parent(s). An aunt, grandparent, etc. financial data should not be submitted on the FAFSA unless the student has been adopted. If your family’s situation makes this difficult, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to completing the FAFSA or the Renewal FAFSA.
- Stepparent Financial Data Omitted on the FAFSA. Stepparent financial data must be provided on the FAFSA regardless of any agreement or arrangement the parents may have.
- Items Left Blank on the FAFSA and Verification Worksheet. When items are left blank, the processing system views the item as not answered and makes certain assumptions. These assumptions may require the parents/student to have to submit additional documentation and may cause the processing edits to select the application for verification. Provide an answer for every item especially dollar items. A zero is an answer. A blank is not.
- Inconsistent or Incomplete Data Submitted on the Verification Worksheet. The Verification Worksheet collects untaxed income and earned wages information of non-tax filers. It also asks for the filing status of the student and the parent(s). This information must be consistent with data supplied on other documents including the FAFSA. Non tax filers must list all income received on the Verification Worksheet. If you earned wages, list the employer(s) and the amounts paid. Be sure to submit copies of the W-2 statements to verify the amounts reported. Be sure to list the names of ALL members of the household on the Verification Worksheet. (see #8 below)
- Misreported Number in the Household Size. To be included in the number in the household of the parent(s), the parent(s) must be providing at least 50% of the person’s support. The same applies for the student’s household. If the student has a child and the parents provide at least 50% of the child’s support, the student is considered dependent of the parent and the student and the student’s child must be included in the parent’s household size.
- Number in College. DO NOT include the parents in the number in college.
- Untaxed Income. Please consistently report any untaxed income you may receive. The FAFSA collects certain untaxed income information and the Verification Worksheet collects untaxed income information. Please be consistent with the reporting of your untaxed income.
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