“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 ApplyVisit studentaid.gov
What to have in front of you:
- 2021 W-2s for both parents and student
- 2021 federal tax return
- Current bank statement
- Current investment information
- FSA ID (click here for more information)
- Allegheny Federal Code: 003230
Important Dates & Deadlines:
- FAFSA Available: October 1
- Priority Filing Deadline: February 15
- Allegheny Deadline: April 15
- PA Residents — PA 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.
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.
2023-2024 Dependent Student Verification Statement: Available here or at the Financial Aid Office located at the 454 House (Admissions Building). This form requires both the student and a parent signature.
2021 Student and Parent Federal Tax Returns: If the student and/or parent did not utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA, signed copies of student and/or parent 2021 federal tax returns should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. If the student and/or parent does not have a copy of their 2021 federal tax return, a tax return transcript can be requested from the IRS. These instructions will walk you through requesting a tax return transcript via phone or online. The 4506-T request form can be used to request a tax return transcript by mail. It can take several weeks to receive tax return transcripts from the IRS.
If your parent is not required to file a federal income tax return for 2021, please complete a 2023 Parent Statement of Non-Filing. In lieu of a tax transcript, this form must be completed and mailed to the Financial Aid Office.
2021 W-2 Wage Statements: Submit copies of parent 2021 W-2 wage statements. Copies of W-2s for dependent students are not required.
If your FAFSA has designated you as an independent student based on the series of questions 42-54, the Financial Aid Office will not require your parents’ information throughout the verification process. However, if you are married, you must also provide your spouse’s information.
2023-2024 Independent Student Verification Statement: Available here or at the Financial Aid Office located at the 454 House (Admissions Building). This form requires the student’s signature and spouse signature (if applicable).
2021 Student Federal Tax Return: If the student did not utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA, signed copies of their 2021 federal tax return should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. If the student does not have a copy of their 2021 federal tax return, a tax return transcript can be requested from the IRS. These instructions will walk you through requesting a tax return transcript via phone or online. The 4506-T request form can be used to request a tax return transcript by mail. It can take several weeks to receive tax return transcripts from the IRS.
If you did not file a 2021 tax return, please complete the 2023 Independent Student Statement of Non-Filing.
2021 W-2 Wage Statements: Submit copies of the student’s 2021 W-2s.
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 email@example.com.
The first “F” in FAFSA is for “free” so make sure to go to Federal Student Aid’s website – www.studentaid.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 clicking here. 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.