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Carol Handlan, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner Wendy Dunlap, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner, 1 Common FAFSA Errors.

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Presentation on theme: "Carol Handlan, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner Wendy Dunlap, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner, 1 Common FAFSA Errors."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carol Handlan, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner Wendy Dunlap, PHEAA Higher Education Access Partner, 1 Common FAFSA Errors

2 Overview of Session 2  FAFSA Filing Preparation & Deadlines  Common Mistakes  Resolution of Errors  Avoidance of Errors  PA State Grant Impact  Materials/Resources

3 3 Meet Deadlines Avoid Errors Update and Correct

4 Before Ever Filing A FAFSA… 4 Trusted Resources Financial Knowledge Early Preparation

5 FAFSA Preparation 5  Encourage families to prepare early -start no later than junior year -attend financial aid nights -attend FAFSA presentations -research trusted websites  Have checklist of all required documents  Have a list of schools considering attending

6 6

7 Filing Guidance 7  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 8  IRS Data Retrieval (online filing) - use when possible - helps simplify the process - helps reduce errors  Use correct website - fafsa.gov  Have all documents necessary before starting  Read the questions - FIRST

9 FAFSA Deadlines 9  After January 1 of student’s senior year for attendance in the fall of the same year - do not mistake the June 30 th filing date - example (January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016)  File by the school’s financial aid deadline  If necessary, file an estimated FAFSA to ensure deadline is met

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11 Common Mistakes 11  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's  Failing to use legal name -take directly from Social Security card -no nicknames

12 Common Mistakes 12  Leaving fields blank - Enter “0” or “not applicable”  Using commas or decimals points in numeric fields - Round to nearest dollar  Failure to enter correct email address - Both student & parent can provide email address; can be the same

13 Common Mistakes 13  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 section  Entering the wrong address - should enter permanent address - do not enter school or temporary address

14 Common Mistakes 14  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 15  Failing to report both parents - biological or adoptive - both incomes must be reported if living in same household  Failure of student to report self - needs to be included in household  Failure to report unborn child - needs to be included in household if born before or during award year

16 Common Mistakes 16  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 IRS  Total income vs adjusted gross income - this should be different from total income reported; typically not equal to total income

17 Common Mistakes 17  Student’s failure to register with selective service - recommend checking “automatically register me” if not yet 18 years of age  Student’s failure to list a postsecondary school

18 Common Mistakes 18  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 & send  Forgetting to actually submit a FAFSA correction

19 Common Mistakes 19  Applicants pick the wrong application year - 2014-15 or 2015-16

20 20

21 Resolving FAFSA Errors 21  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 status  How do you notify students concerning FAFSA errors?

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23 Resolving FAFSA Errors 23  Do you remind students who estimate answers to correct their FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval?  How successful are your reminders?

24 UCSB Video – IRS Data Retrieval 24

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26 Avoiding Mistakes 26  Prepare early  Read through the FAFSA material  File income taxes early  Have necessary documents ready before sitting down to complete the FAFSA  Take your time – don’t rush

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28 FAFSA Filing Impact on PA State Grant 28  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 Form  Recommend that students establish an account on pheaa.org via Account Access to track the status of State Grant Record

29 Account Access 29

30 Resolving PA State Grant Errors 30  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 31  New for 2014-15- Ready to Succeed Scholarship - First come, first serve basis - Determined by FAFSA filing date

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34 Resources – FAFSA Ti FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid Flyer You Tube Videos about filing the FAFSA FAFSA Tooolkit 34

35 www.youtube.com/FederalStudentAid 35

36 FAFSA Toolkit on PHEAA.org 36

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