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COLLEGE NOW GREATER CLEVELAND AMERICORPS GUIDE FINANCIAL AID TRAINING POLARIS CAREER CENTER FEBRUARY 17, 2012 Advanced Financial Aid Topics: Special Circumstances,

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Presentation on theme: "COLLEGE NOW GREATER CLEVELAND AMERICORPS GUIDE FINANCIAL AID TRAINING POLARIS CAREER CENTER FEBRUARY 17, 2012 Advanced Financial Aid Topics: Special Circumstances,"— Presentation transcript:

1 COLLEGE NOW GREATER CLEVELAND AMERICORPS GUIDE FINANCIAL AID TRAINING POLARIS CAREER CENTER FEBRUARY 17, 2012 Advanced Financial Aid Topics: Special Circumstances, Professional Judgment, & Verification

2 Topics of Discussion Special Circumstances  Professional Judgment Verification Things To Keep In Mind Questions Contact Information

3 Special Conditions Why does it exist?  FAFSA captures “base year” (previous year) information  Ex. In for year, 2011 will be base year  Not looking at current year  Technically FAFSA is one year behind  Enables Financial Aid Administrators (FAAs) to take into account current year occurrences for more accurate financial picture

4 Special Conditions (cont’d) Definition  Situation where financial picture not adequately reflected on FAFSA due to one or more of following:  Loss of job  Retirement  Separation or divorce  Death of a parent  Medical expenses not covered by insurance  Loss of untaxed income  Requests for dependency overrides

5 Special Conditions (cont’d) Additional documentation required  Will vary by individual colleges/universities Professional Judgment (PJ)  Possible outcome of special conditions request  Definition  Discretionary action available to FAAs to address unusual circumstances that affect students ability to pay educational expenses

6 Special Conditions (cont’d) Generally four types of PJ adjustments:  Cost of attendance  Add allowable expenses that exceed standard COA  Expected Family Contribution (EFC)  Modify FAFSA Data elements which result in different EFC  Dependency status  Dependent -> Independent

7 Special Conditions (cont’d)  Conditions inappropriate to expect parental contribution  Abusive family environment or abandonment by parents  Loan origination and eligibility  Refuse to originate or reduce borrower’s eligibility  Offer unsubsidized loan funds when parents indicate following : Refuse to complete FAFSA End financial support to student

8 Verification History  Began during 1986 – 87 award year  Purpose  Resolve information incorrectly reported on FAFSA  Helps ensure eligible applicants receive correct types and amounts of financial assistance

9 Verification (cont’d) Selected by either Central Processing System (CPS) or by institution Some exclusions:  Applicable to entire FAFSA  Student dies during award year  Student not Title IV aid recipient  Student or parent only eligible for unsubsidized financial assistance or aid not based on EFC  Application verified by another school

10 Verification (cont’d)  Applicable to parents’ information  Both parents mentally incapacitated  Resides outside US and cannot be contacted by normal means  Contact information unknown an cannot be obtained by applicant  Applicable to spouse’s information  Spouse deceased  All of the above for parents’

11 Verification (cont’d) Required items  Household size  Number in college  Child support paid (if reported on FAFSA)  Receipt of food stamps (if reported on FAFSA) Depending on whether or not federal income tax return filed, additional items will be verified

12 Verification (cont’d) Acceptable documentation  College/university financial aid offices will provide guidance  Usually specific forms  Tax return transcripts only  Signed copies of tax returns no longer being accepted

13 Verification (cont’d) IRS Data Retrieval Tool  Available February 5, 2012  Enables family to have information from tax return electronically transferred to FAFSA  Must meet following requirements in order to use  Valid Social Security #  A FSA Pin  Filed a federal tax return  Not changed marital status since Dec. 31, 2011

14 Things To Keep In Mind Additional documentation will always be needed Use of IRS Data Retrieval Tool strongly encouraged  Wait two weeks after filing taxes Verification process must be completed at all colleges/universities  Financial aid offered often tentative in meantime FAFSA should be updated if tax filing status is “will file” Asterisk next to EFC mean selected for verification PJ decision are final  Cannot not be appealed to US Department of Education

15 Questions & Contact Information Ericka L. Walker-Smith Assistant Director of Financial Aid Baldwin-Wallace College 275 Eastland Road Berea, Ohio Phone:


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