FAFSA Overview

​​Do you have questions regarding completing the Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA)?  We have answers, plus tips designed to save you time and stress.

What is the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is an application used to collect information to determine your eligibility for financial aid awards.  It is the first step in the financial aid process.  You use the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid, such as grants, work-study, and loans.  In addition, most states and colleges use information from the FAFSA to award state aid. 


What information will be collected?

The FAFSA has four main sections of required information: 

  1. General student information (such as your name, date of birth, etc.)
  2. Dependency status (Dependent or Independent)
        Am I Dependent or Independent?
  3. Information about your parent (if applicable)
  4. Information about you, the student (and spouse if applicable)

Additional information collected includes the college you attend and your housing plans.    

Your signature is required (as is your parent’s if you are dependent).  Your signature for the online FAFSA is the Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).

When can you file your FAFSA?

  • You can start filing your FAFSA beginning October 1.
  • You have to fill out a FAFSA for every school year. A school year consists of Fall, Spring and Summer terms.

What happens after you complete the FAFSA?

No, you won't get a check in the mail from the government. There's more to it than that.

How do you make corrections to your FAFSA?

Do NOT "update" the FAFSA. This process should be used to make corrections on information that was entered incorrectly on your original applications. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) to determine if you need to make a correction.

  1. Visit fafsa.gov
  2. Click on "login"
  3. Enter the student's FSA ID or Name, SSN, and Date of Birth
  4. Select the year of the FAFSA to correct
  5. Select "make FAFSA corrections" from the options list
  6. Enter the student's FSA ID and create a password
  7. Enter the transaction number needing correction, usually the most recent (or leave blank)
  8. Change any answers that need to be corrected
  9. Follow prompts through until FAFSA has been resubmitted and confirmation number provided

(If tax information has already been provided to the DMACC Financial Aid office for verification purposes, do not make any FAFSA corrections to your application unless requested by the office.)

Why use the IRS Data Retrieval?

  • IRS Data Retrieval​ process will help simplify the verification process, if selected.
  • T​he 2018-2019 FAFSA will be able to access the IRS data retrieval tool in which the FAFSA requires you to use 2016 tax information.​​ Starting October 1, 2018 you can complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA which will use financial and tax information from 2017.​
  • Using this process can reduce errors and documents requested by the DMACC Financial Aid Office.
  • When you submit the request, the IRS will confirm your identity.

Am I eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have already filed their taxes. However, there are a few scenarios in which students and parents are ineligible.

I’m unable to link my tax return.  What do I do? 

If you are unable or cannot link your taxes to your FAFSA, you may complete the FAFSA by simply typing in the information requested from your tax form. However, you may later be asked to provide the DMACC financial aid office a copy of your Federal tax Return Transcript.  There are various ways to access your tax transcript from the IRS.

I was selected for verification. What do I do? 

If you are selected for Verification, you must complete the verification process.  DMACC will help you through this process by identifying what forms you need to complete, or what documents you need to provide to the Financial Aid Office.  If you do not finish the Verification process, we cannot calculate your financial aid eligibility.  More information on our process is available here. 

What is DMACC’s Title IV school code?


How long will it take the school to get your FAFSA information?

Your FAFSA will be sent to the colleges you listed when you filled out the FAFSA.  It will take about 10-14 days after your FAFSA is submitted before DMACC will be provided access to your application information.  When DMACC receives your FAFSA from the Department of Education, we will reach out to you via email or US mail.  

« Return to Step 1: Filing your FAFSA