2 Overview of Session FAFSA Filing Preparation & Deadlines Common MistakesResolution of ErrorsAvoidance of ErrorsPA State Grant ImpactMaterials/Resources
3 Our Goals Meet Deadlines Avoid Errors Update and Correct What should be a seamless process, often is not.
4 Before Ever Filing A FAFSA… Trusted ResourcesFinancial KnowledgeEarly PreparationDo most, some, any of your FAFSA applicants have the benefit of early preparation, trusted resources and financial knowledge?
5 FAFSA Preparation Encourage families to prepare early -start no later than junior year-attend financial aid nights-attend FAFSA presentations-research trusted websitesHave checklist of all required documentsHave a list of schools considering attending
7 Filing Guidance Advise to apply early Advise to apply at FAFSA.gov - For families without computers-suggest high school counselor-community library-FAFSA workshops-local postsecondary school
8 Filing Guidance IRS Data Retrieval (online filing) - use when possible - helps simplify the process- helps reduce errorsUse correct website - fafsa.govHave all documents necessary before startingRead the questions - FIRSTProvide resources like the FAFSA Tip Sheet
9 FAFSA DeadlinesAfter January 1 of student’s senior year for attendance in the fall of the same year- do not mistake the June 30th filing date- example (January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016)File by the school’s financial aid deadlineIf necessary, file an estimated FAFSA to ensure deadline is met
11 Common Mistakes Listing incorrect Social Security number - do not guess take directly from Social Security card- student’s MUST have an SSN- parent’s without SSN can put all zero'sFailing to use legal name-take directly from Social Security card-no nicknames
12 Common Mistakes Leaving fields blank - Enter “0” or “not applicable” Using commas or decimals points in numeric fields- Round to nearest dollarFailure to enter correct address- Both student & parent can provide address; can be the same
13 Common Mistakes Entering information in wrong section - financial sections for students and parents are identical- student information must be in their section- parent information must be in their sectionEntering the wrong address- should enter permanent address- do not enter school or temporary address
14 Common Mistakes Failure to list correct marital status - Student – it is their status the day they file the FAFSA- Parent – it is their status the day they file the FAFSA; if remarried spouse must be included
15 Common Mistakes Failing to report both parents - biological or adoptive- both incomes must be reported if living in same householdFailure of student to report self- needs to be included in householdFailure to report unborn child- needs to be included in household if born before or during award year
16 Common Mistakes Incorrect income tax filing status - head of household - if incorrectly selected and filed the school will need to see a copy of an amended income tax return filed with the IRSTotal income vs adjusted gross income- this should be different from total income reported; typically not equal to total income
17 Common Mistakes Student’s failure to register with selective service - recommend checking “automatically register me” if not yet 18 years of ageStudent’s failure to list a postsecondary school
18 Common Mistakes Failure to sign and date the FAFSA - If dependent, both the student and their parent(s) must sign and date the FAFSA- Online or print the signature page & sendForgetting to actually submit a FAFSA correction
19 Common Mistakes Applicants pick the wrong application year or
21 Resolving FAFSA Errors What internal processes do you have for finding errors? Do you go beyond meeting verification requirements? What procedures do you have for handling conflicting data?Are there certain items that you always investigate? For example – independency statusHow do you notify students concerning FAFSA errors?
28 FAFSA Filing Impact on PA State Grant Can apply for PA State Grant directly from FAFSA on the State Grant Form (SGF)When completing the SGF advise students to print a copy of the Certification FormRecommend that students establish an account on pheaa.org via Account Access to track the status of State Grant Record
30 Resolving PA State Grant Errors Students may view messages from State Grant in Account Access.School staff can view what a student can see in Account Access by logging into Account Access in Alec. You can only view accounts that have been “established” by the student.
31 FAFSA Filing Impact on PA State Grant & Special Programs New for Ready to Succeed Scholarship- First come, first serve basis- Determined by FAFSA filing date