FAFSA Help & Resources

“FAFSA in 30 Seconds”

Let’s make this easy.

The FAFSA serves as the official financial aid application for all federal, state and institutional need-based programs.

What is it used for?

The FAFSA is used to determine your “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). Your EFC will be used to determine the amount of need-based aid you are eligible for, including Allegheny grants, as well as federal loans and federal work study.

Students can submit the FAFSA to more than one college/university at a time, and your information will be saved from year to year.

Who should complete it?

All families should consider completing the FAFSA. Regardless of your expectations, knowing your eligibility is an important step in your financial planning.

How to Apply

Visit fafsa.gov

What to have in front of you:

  • 2016 W2s for both parents and student
  • 2016 federal tax return
  • Current bank statement
  • Current investment information
  • FSA ID How to Create an FSA ID (PDF)
  • Allegheny Federal Code: 003230

Important Dates & Deadlines:

  • FAFSA Available: October 1
  • Priority Filing Deadline: February 15
  • Allegheny Deadline: April 15
  • PA Residents — PHEAA State Grant Deadline: May 1

Resources are limited and the deadlines stated above are very important. You must file by the priority deadline to be considered for maximum aid opportunities.

Allegheny will not replace lost state grant funds due to late filing.

Some state grant programs may require supplemental applications.


IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The FAFSA should be updated with the tax return information by utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool inputs the tax return information into the FAFSA directly from the IRS.  We strongly encourage all families to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if applicable.



More instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool instructional video

Instructions on how to request the tax return transcripts via phone or online, or you can submit the 4506-T request form to the IRS by fax or mail.  It could take another several weeks to receive the tax transcript by requesting it from the IRS.

If you are selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will notify you.   Verification Documents are due in the Financial Aid Office within 30 days of verification notification.

Dependent Student Verification Statement 2017-2018: Available via download or at the Financial Aid Office located off to the right of Reis Hall’s Lobby. This form requires both the student and a parent signature.

2015 Student’s and Parents’ Federal Tax Returns: If your parent is not required to file a federal income tax return for 2015, please complete a Parent Statement of Non-Filing form.  In lieu of a tax transcript, this form must be completed and mailed to the Financial Aid Office.

Independent Students

If your FAFSA has designated you as an independent student based on the series of questions 45-57, the Financial Aid Office will not require your parents’ information throughout the verification process.  However, if you are married, you must provide your spouse’s information.  Please click HERE for the Independent Student Verification Statement.  If you did not file a 2015 tax return, please complete the Student Statement of Non-Filing form.

Financial aid awards will be mailed to returning students in mid-June.  If these restrictions pose a hardship or if you have any questions, please call the office for assistance at 1-800-835-7780, or e-mail fao@allegheny.edu.



The first “F” in FAFSA is for “free” so make sure to go to www.fafsa.gov. Some other websites with similar URLs charge a fee to submit your application.



Before updating your FAFSA, make sure you have a valid FSA ID. You can quickly and easily set up your FSA ID or check the status of your existing FSA ID by going to www.fsaid.ed.gov. After checking or resetting your password, close out of the browser and go to www.fafsa.gov in a new browser to update your FAFSA. If you try to update your FAFSA from the FSA ID site, you will experience errors.



When using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on FAFSA, be sure to enter your name and address EXACTLY as it appears on your year specific tax return. Otherwise, your tax information will not populate and you will have to manually enter all income figures.



ALWAYS sign your FAFSA after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Often families mistake a successful DRT transfer as a completed FAFSA. You must ‘Sign and Submit’ the FAFSA after using the DRT or your FAFSA is considered incomplete and invalid.



File your FAFSA as early as possible. Since the FAFSA now uses Prior Prior Year income (PPY), you can submit your FAFSA as early as October 1. Early FAFSA submission will help the student avoid missing deadlines, thereby maximizing the amount of aid for which they are eligible.


Additional Helpful Videos – from studentaid.gov

“How to Fill Out the FAFSA”


“FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status”


“FAFSA and FSA ID Tips for Parents”


“Overview of the Financial Aid Process”


“FAFSA Overview”