Hopefully you have filed the FAFSA for the 2012-2013 school year by now. If not, and you are hoping that your student will receive financial aid for the upcoming year, please file it as soon as possible.
Every year a number of students are selected for a process called “Verification.” This process involved students and families submitting tax documents to the financial aid office and having them make corrections to the FAFSA information. However, new Federal Guidelines no longer allow Financial Aid Offices to collect tax copies to fix errors on the FAFSA. Instead, the government is encouraging all families log back into the FAFSA (2-4 weeks after they have submitted their taxes) and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update the FAFSA. This is a secure process and allows for specific line items from your taxes to be transferred onto the corresponding question on the FAFSA.
To access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool update the FAFSA questions about tax filing status (#32 for students and #79 for parents) from “will file” to “already complete.” You will then receive a prompt to use the tool to view and transfer your tax information directly into the FAFSA. Remember to view all previously submitted information and correct any FAFSA information that is not accurate.
The Data Transfer process was implemented late last year and has been met with enthusiasm and success by Students and families. One student commented, “It was super easy, and nice to click a couple buttons and have the FAFSA updated without having to search my taxes and figure out what line went where.”
Students should receive their Financial Aid Awards (via Gonzaga Email) by the beginning of April.