Post FAFSA: What Comes Next?

The FAFSA is completed! You’ve got it submitted, so…What’s next?

  • You should receive an email that your FAFSA has been processed in a few days.
  • Check your Student Aid Report through the link in the email or by logging in at the FAFSA.gov.
  • Read the first page of comments to be sure you don’t have an error or to find out if you are picked for verification.

If you are not picked for verification:

  • If you completed the FAFSA with estimates go back and choose “Make Corrections” to update with figures from this year’s tax return.
    • Change “Will File” to “Already Completed.”
    • Update the amounts either manually or through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool built in to the FAFSA.
    • Be sure to do this on both parent and student if the student filed a return.
    • Make any other corrections that need to be made.
    • Your college should receive your corrected information and will complete your financial aid award.
    • Normally, if you weren’t picked for verification originally, you won’t be picked after you correct you income tax information. However, be sure to check your Student Aid Report again after your changes have been processed.
    • If you haven’t received an award or any other information from financial aid within two weeks, give them a call to verify that they don’t need anything else from you.

If you are picked for verification:

  • You must wait until your tax returns are processed by the IRS, so if you or your parents haven’t filed them they need to be filed immediately. Processing usually takes about 2 weeks.
  • Your college should have a verification worksheet online under their financial aid forms which you must complete and turn in to the financial aid department. Be sure you have the one for the correct school year!
  • There are two ways to verify your tax information:

IRS Data Retrieval Tool – log in to the FAFSA and choose “Make Corrections”

  • Change status to “Already Completed” and answer the next 3 questions with a “No.”
  • It will ask for the PIN of whoever’s information you are trying to verify.  Enter the PIN and go to the IRS site.
  • Enter the information requested exactly like it is on your tax return, but without any periods.
  • Click “Submit” and the figures from the tax return should appear on the screen.
  • Transfer that information to your FAFSA and it will take you back to your FAFSA
  • Make any other correction you need to make.
  • Sign and submit the corrected FAFSA with your PINs.
  • Do Not make any changes to the income tax information that is transferred from the IRS once you use the Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Check the boxes on the verification worksheet showing you either used data retrieval or didn’t file a tax return and return your worksheet to the college financial aid department.

IRS Income Tax Transcript – use this if you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

  • You must request the transcript directly from the IRS at the IRS website, by calling the 800 number or going to an IRS office.
  • Check the box on the verification worksheet showing that you are attaching the Income Tax Transcript and send both forms to the college financial aid department.
  • Once you have returned the Verification Worksheet to your college, it usually takes about two weeks for them to complete the process and set up you financial aid award.
  • If you indicated on the FAFSA that your family received SNAP benefits, you will also have to attach paperwork verifying that information.
  • If you haven’t received an award or any other information from financial aid within two weeks, give them a call to verify they don’t need anything else from you.
  • The government picks you for verification but your college has the right to verify any information on your FAFSA if they deem it necessary.

Don’t forget if you have problems at any time during the process you can schedule an appointment with us or give us a call and we may be able to help you over the phone!