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Financial Aid Overview, Application Process and Student Eligibility. Lisa Stewart Texas A&M University at Galveston. TASFAA 2013 ABC Workshop. Four components that make up financial aid: Scholarships Institutional and outside Grants Federal and state Loans

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Financial Aid Overview, Application Process and Student Eligibility

Lisa Stewart

Texas A&M University at Galveston

TASFAA 2013 ABC Workshop


Four components that make up financial aid:

  • Scholarships
    • Institutional and outside
  • Grants
    • Federal and state
  • Loans
    • Federal, state, and institutional
  • Work Study
    • Federal and state

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the central element of the federal student aid application process

  • FAFSA data are used to:
    • Compute the expected family contribution (EFC)
    • Confirm certain student eligibility criteria
module objectives
Module Objectives
  • Explain how to apply for Title IV aid
  • Identify and describe various methods students may use to apply for financial aid
  • Practice completion of FAFSA.
module objectives1
Module Objectives
  • Explain how FAFSA data are processed by Central Processing System (CPS)
  • Identify and describe types of FAFSA processing output
  • Review how to:
    • Make changes to applicant data
    • Override student dependency status
free application for federal student aid
Free Application for Federal Student Aid

There are multiple versions of the FAFSA:

  • The paper FAFSA
  • FAFSA on the Web (FOTW)
  • FAA Access to CPS Online
  • FAFSA on the Phone
electronic fafsas
Electronic FAFSAs
  • FAFSA may be filed electronically via:
  • FAFSA on the web (completed by student)
  • FAA Access to CPS Online(completed by advisor)
fafsa on the web
FAFSA on the Web
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Real-time FAFSA submission and updates
  • Ability to electronically sign using a Federal Student Aid (FSA) Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Instructions and “help text” for certain questions
  • Skip-logic allowing student and/or parent to skip unnecessary questions
  • “Chat” help.
fafsa on the web cont
FAFSA on the Web cont.
  • Built-in edits check for errors prior to submission
  • Ability to check application status on-line
  • Printable FOTW Worksheet assists in collecting necessary application information
faa access to cps online
FAA Access to CPS Online

To use:

  • School must register with U.S. Department of Education (ED)
  • Financial aid administrator must have user ID and password
dependent student status special circumstances
Dependent Student Status: Special Circumstances

Dependent applicants unable to provide parental information due to a special family circumstance, may use FAFSA on the Web to bypass the parent questions

internal revenue service data retrieval
Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval
  • Process enables students and parents to transfer tax return information from IRS website directly to FOTW application
  • IRS Data Retrieval also available for corrections
completing fafsa on the web
Completing FAFSA on the Web
  • Answer all applicable questions accurately
  • List colleges to receive FAFSA results
  • Sign and submit.
  • If selecting “Will File”, return and input corrected information.
signing the fafsa on the web
Signing the FAFSA on the Web

Three methods to sign application:

  • Electronically using FSA PIN;
  • Sign printed copy of signature page; or
  • Sign rejected Student Aid Report (SAR) - (when using CPS completion method)
application signatures
Application Signatures
  • Signing application:
    • Certifies accuracy of data
    • Acknowledges ED authority to verify information reported with other federal agencies
    • Agrees to provide any info requested
    • Certifies identity
    • Acknowledges consequences of false information
    • Agrees to certain application certification statements
expected family contribution efc
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Amount family can reasonably be expected to contribute
  • Stays the same regardless of college
  • Calculated using FAFSA data and a federal formula
what makes up the efc
What makes up the EFC?
  • Number of individuals in the household
  • Number of individuals in college
  • Parents income/assets
  • Students income/assets
student eligibility for title iv aid
Student Eligibility for Title IV Aid

Students must meet several general eligibility requirements

  • Some requirements are student related
  • Others relate to the program of study
general student eligibility requirements
General Student Eligibility Requirements

Criteria categories:

1. Checked via application process

2. Checked and monitored by school

3. Not specifically checked, but must be resolved if conflicting information exists

department of homeland security primary verification
Department of Homeland Security Primary Verification
  • Database match between Central Processing System (CPS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to confirm eligible noncitizen status
  • If primary verification confirms eligible noncitizen status, no further proof is required
dhs secondary confirmation
DHS Secondary Confirmation
  • CPS submits automated DHS secondary confirmation request to DHS if primary verification failed and an Alien Registration Number was provided on the FAFSA
  • Automated secondary confirmation usually is completed within 3 days
social security number
Social Security Number

Three types of Social Security Administration (SSA) database matches:

  • Student’s Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Parent’s SSN
  • Date of death
national student loan data system
National Student Loan Data System

Student and parent PLUS borrower must:

  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan
  • Not owe a Title IV overpayment
  • Not have exceeded Title IV loan limits
  • Have fully repaid any fraudulently obtained Title IV funds
drug convictions
Drug Convictions
  • Two sets of student eligibility requirements apply
  • Different means used to determine whether student meets the requirements
    • Department of Justice database match
    • Question 23 on 2013–14 FAFSA
institutional eligibility regulations
Institutional Eligibility Regulations

School may not admit as a regular student persons who:

  • Do not have high school diploma or its recognized equivalent; and
  • Are below the age of compulsory attendance in the state in which school is located
cps database matches
CPS Database Matches
  • Social Security Administration:
    • Social Security Number (SSN)
    • Master Death File
    • U.S. citizenship
  • Department of Homeland Security:
    • Eligible noncitizen status
  • Selective Service System:
    • Registration with Selective Service
cps database matches1
CPS Database Matches
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Title IV funds:
    • Loan defaults
    • Exceeds loan limits
    • Any unpaid fraudulently obtained funds
    • Repayments
cps database matches2
CPS Database Matches
  • Department of Defense: Identify eligible students for increased aid due to parent or guardian death as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/2001
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Verification of veteran status
application output
Application Output

Processed application output sent to:

  • Student in form of SAR(paper or electronic)
  • School in form of Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR)
  • Student’s state agency in form of ISIR
student aid report sar
Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Summarizes information reported on application (paper or electronic)
  • Provides processing results including:
    • EFC
    • Messages related to database matches
    • Verification selection
    • Eligibility for Title IV aid
application output1
Application Output
  • Student output depends on whether the student provided e-mail address
  • CPS sends student:
    • E-mail Notification of SAR Processing, if e-mail address is provided;
    • Paper SAR, if paper FAFSA and no e-mail address; or
    • Paper SAR Acknowledgement, if electronic application and no e-mail address
paper student aid report
Paper Student Aid Report

Paper SAR enables students to readily determine:

  • Status of their FAFSA (complete or incomplete)
  • Eligibility or ineligibility for Federal Pell Grant
  • Next steps in the application process
sar acknowledgement
SAR Acknowledgement

SAR Acknowledgement is sent to student whose application data was electronically submitted and no e-mail address provided

  • Includes EFC
  • Establishes student’s Title IV eligibility
  • Cannot be used to make changes
changing applicant data
Changing Applicant Data
  • Corrections: Changes to incorrect data
  • Updates: Changes required for some data items that change after FAFSA was filed
  • Adjustments: Changes to applicant data by financial aid administrator using PJ
    • Dependency override: Adjustment of student’s status from dependent to independent by FAA
corrections adding schools
Corrections: Adding Schools
  • Adding a school to CPS record is considered a correction
  • Student can add schools by:
    • Using FAFSA on the Web and FSA PIN;
    • Calling Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.433.3243 and providing Data Release Number; or
    • Submitting correction on paper SAR
electronic corrections
Electronic Corrections
  • Students with a FSA PIN can electronically make and sign corrections
  • FSA PIN or signature of dependent’s parent required only if change is made to parental data
paper sar corrections
Paper SAR Corrections
  • Student or parent must follow SAR instructions
  • SAR must be signed by:
    • Student
    • Parent, if dependent
items that must be updated
Items That Must Be Updated
  • Household size, if selected for verification
  • Number in college, if selected for verification
  • Dependency status, whenever change occurs, whether or not selected for verification, except updating not permitted for:
    • Change in student’s marital status (This is an option for the school, if it chooses)
  • Made only by financial aid administrator
  • May be made using FAA Access to CPS Online
  • Financial aid administrator can perform dependency overrides on paper FAFSA
  • Student’s and/or parent’s signature not required if documentation used as basis of the adjustment is signed
dependency status override
Dependency Status Override

Student may be considered independent if unusual circumstances exist

  • Decision must be made and documented on case-by-case basis
  • Can override dependency status on initial paper application or after initial application is filed
dependency override after initial application
Dependency Override: After Initial Application
  • Override performed using FAA Access to CPS Online (or EDExpress)
    • Only the school submitting the override will be sent a revised ISIR.
    • Your school may accept a decision made by another school for that award year.