Helping families complete the fafsa for 2009 2010
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Helping Families complete the FAFSA for 2009-2010. Sponsored by Massachusetts College Goal Sunday Presented by Julie Shields-Rutyna , MEFA [email protected] Gail Holt , Mount Holyoke College [email protected] Agenda. FAFSA-How easy is it? Major Issues for Families

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Helping Families complete the FAFSA for 2009-2010

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Helping families complete the fafsa for 2009 2010

Helping Families complete the FAFSA for 2009-2010

Sponsored by

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

Presented by

Julie Shields-Rutyna, MEFA

[email protected]

Gail Holt, Mount Holyoke College

[email protected]


Agenda

Agenda

  • FAFSA-How easy is it?

  • Major Issues for Families

  • Common Mistakes

  • Changes for 2009-2010

    • Questions

    • Implications of the change

    • Issues for your office to consider

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


One hour

One Hour!

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

  • The time to complete this form is estimate to be one hour, including time to review instructions, search data resources, gather the data needed, and complete and review the information collection

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Prep work

Prep Work

  • Obtaining PIN first

  • Key is having what you need in front of you

  • Read the directions

  • Understand them (or have someone to ask).

  • Knowing answers to bigger issues that come up for families

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


What to bring

What to Bring

  • FAFSA PIN

  • Social Security Number

  • Driver’s license

  • 2008 Federal Tax Return

  • 2008 W-2 Forms or year-end pay stubs

  • 2008 untaxed income records

  • 2008 bank statements

  • 2008 business and investment records

  • Alien registration card

    (if not a U.S. citizen)

    Bring 2007 if 2008 not available

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Completing the fafsa

Completing the FAFSA

  • Who completes it?

    • Parent(s)

    • Student (You the student)

      • Dependent vs. Independent

  • Paper or online?

  • When to complete it

  • How to make updates and corrections

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Common mistakes

Common Mistakes

  • Missing signatures

  • Legal name or incorrect social security number

  • Gender-Question 21

  • Incorrectly reporting a legal dependent-Questions 75 and 76

  • Misunderstanding the Income Tax field-Questions 37 and 87

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Common mistakes1

Common Mistakes

  • FAFSA Submission

  • Drug question-Question 23

  • Marital Status-Questions 16 and 61

  • Head of Household – error and abuse

  • Assets – rental property ≠ business

  • SSI (supplemental security income) ≠ SSDI (social security disability insurance)

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


High school completion and college plans

Change

Questions moved

Individual options provided vs. look-up from instructions

Implications

Easier to understand

Answer more quickly

Decrease time to complete??

High School Completion and College Plans

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Teach grant

New Question #32

Paper FAFSA 2009-2010

FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) in 2008-2009

Implications

Student confusion

Unrealistic expectations

Don’t know = Yes

TEACH Grant

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Veteran s benefits

Change

Amount eliminated

Implications

Requires follow up with school

School must collect amount

1 (chapter 30) eligible for subsidized loan

Veteran’s Benefits

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Worksheet a

Change

Eliminated for both student and parent

No Earned income credit

No Additional child tax credit

No Welfare benefits

No Untaxed Social Security benefits

Implications

Less confusing for low-income families

Discrepancy between FM and IM income

Worksheet A

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Worksheet b

Changes

Now included in Step Two and Four

Foreign income eliminated

Credit for federal tax on special fuels eliminated

Implications

Discrepancy between FM and IM income

Lower total income

Worksheet B

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Worksheet c

Changes

Taxable combat pay added

Implications

Lower total income

Worksheet C

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Foster youth

Foster Youth

  • Change

    • Foster care added as qualifier for independent status

    • Age changed from until 18 to any time period age 13 or later

  • Implication

    • Greater eligibility for independent status

    • Documentation may be needed

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Dependency status

Changes

FIVE new questions

New comment codes

Special circumstances flag on ISIR

Implications

Communication of institutional policy

Documentation needed?

PROFILE will waive parent data if answer Yes as emancipated minor

Dependency Status

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Dislocated worker

Changes

New question

Implications

Eligibility determination for SNT/auto zero test

‘Don’t know’ option will require verification

Documentation may be needed

Dislocated Worker

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


529 plans

Changes

Notes changed

Implications

Dependent student owned accounts now being counted in need analysis

529 Plans

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Means tested benefits

Changes

Increased from one to two years

Clarified that aid eligibility or benefits would not be reduced

Implications

Reduced EFC

Means Tested Benefits

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Parent data

Changes

Parent e-mail added

Implications

Institutional policy on e-mailing parents

Parent Data

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Dependent students with special circumstances

Changes

Can now bypass parental info (FOTW)

Advised to contact FAO

Prescreening questions to limit requests for override (FOTW)

Transferability

Implications

Ease of processing (??)

New Special Circumstances Flag (value = 1)

Comment code 295/284

Rejects 2 and 15

Process for approval and communication?

Dependent Students(with special circumstances)

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Fsa communication

Changes

Email sent if Web application inactivity after 7 and 14 days

Implications

Less delay in processing

More complete FAFSAs

Less inquiries to FAAs

FSA Communication

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Auto zero efc

Changes

Income threshold increased from $20,000 to $30,000

Implications

Reduced EFC

Auto Zero EFC

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Future possibilities

Future Possibilities

  • FAFSA Simplification

  • Limited IRS income verification pilot

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Changes to the paper 2009 2010 fafsa impress your friends at your next cocktail party

Changes to the Paper 2009-2010 FAFSA(Impress your friends at your next cocktail party)

  • Four-year color rotation

  • Ovals changed to Circles

  • Answer box size decreased slightly

  • Housing plan options changed – Step 6

Massachusetts College Goal Sunday

MASFAA Conference 2008


Final fafsa release

Final FAFSA Release

Demonstration Site

Fafsademo.test.ed.gov

User name – eddemo

Password - fafsatest

Early December 2008


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