FAFSA & Verification

FAFSA & Verification

Do I have to file for Federal Student Aid every year?
When are the deadlines?
Yes, you must apply each year! The priority date is March 1st each year. The FAFSA applications are available starting in January for the upcoming year.

The Federal Financial Aid Year runs from July 1st through June 30th.  A new FAFSA must be filed for each Aid Year in which you wish to be considered for Federal student financial aid. You can determine which FAFSA to file based on your first scheduled day of class. For example, if you are registering for a term that begins before June 30, 2012, you would file the 2012-2013 FAFSA.  If you are registering for a term that begins after July 1, 2012, you would file the 2013-2014 FAFSA.

What determines whether or not I will receive financial aid?
The primary factor is financial need. Financial need is computed by determining the educational costs (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a personal allowance) less family contribution (based on federal and institutional formulas). The difference between these is the need for financial assistance.

What are some of the common mistakes people make while filing for financial aid?

Four of the most common are:

  • Not filing early enough
  • Not reading the instructions
  • Not fully completing the applications
  • Not using the correct social security number

Why does my award change each year?
At Beacon, eligibility for financial aid is based on federal and institutional estimates of your family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education. A typical award includes grants and loans.

Keep in mind that your award is likely to change each year for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The cost of education goes up
  • Your family’s income changes
  • The number of children in college changes
  • You forgot to “apply” for financial aid early and missed the priority date

What happens if I fail to complete the application process?
Failure to complete the application process in a timely manner may result in loss of aid and an immediate demand for payment of tuition and other debts.

Why have I been selected for verification and what do I do now?
The Federal Department of Education selects approximately one third of all FAFSA’s for the process of verification. To satisfy the verification requirement, the student must provide the Beacon College Financial Aid Office with tax records (signed Form 1040 pages only without schedules and attachments) that verify the tax information submitted on the FAFSA. In addition, the student must provide a signed copy of the appropriate Federal Dependent (or Independent) Verification Worksheet.

Note:  For the purpose of receiving Federal Student Financial Aid, the determination of dependent or independent status is based on specific Federal criteria. The FAFSA website offers a FAFSA worksheet to help you make your status determination.