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Summary: Signature Page Options When Submitting Initial Applications Using FAA Access to CPS Online

Publication Date: June 17, 2008

Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: Signature Page Options When Submitting Initial Applications Using FAA Access to CPS Online

Posted on 06-17-2008


We would like to remind financial aid administrators (FAAs) about options for collecting and maintaining the required signature(s) when using the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site to enter and submit initial Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data.

Background

As explained in the 2008-2009 Federal Student Aid Handbook (in the section “Application and Verification Guide”) when an FAA submits an initial FAFSA, a renewal FAFSA, or corrections to FAFSA data on behalf of an applicant using FAA Access to CPS Online, the FAA must also collect and maintain the required original student signature. If the student is a dependent student and parental data is included on the application or correction, the FAA must also collect a signature from one parent whose information is provided on the form. The original signature(s) must be maintained in the student’s file for normal record retention limits, regardless of whether the student attends the institution or receives federal student aid.

In the past, FAAs may have relied on the paper FAFSA to collect the student’s (and parent’s, if applicable) information and signature, if the school chose to enter and submit the initial application for the student using FAA Access to CPS Online. The school would maintain the signed paper FAFSA as documentation in the student’s file. As we continue to encourage use of our Web application products and reduce reliance on the paper FAFSA, we would like to remind you of alternatives for this process of documentation. These alternatives are particularly important, given the current paper FAFSA distribution strategy that does not include options for bulk orders of the paper form.

Signature Page Options

FAAs have the following options for collecting student and parent signatures that do not include using the paper FAFSA, when using FAA Access to CPS Online to submit initial applications:

  1. The new PDF FAFSA
  2. For 2008-2009 we created a PDF version of the FAFSA, in both English and Spanish, which is an official FAFSA for all application purposes. As we informed you in an Electronic Announcement posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on December 19, 2007, students can download the form from www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov. Schools can also access the PDF from www.FSAPubs.org.

    If you choose to enter the initial application for a student using FAA Access to CPS Online, you have the option to request that the student access the PDF version of the FAFSA, complete the form (either by printing it and completing it manually, or by completing the form on the computer and then printing it), and sign it. One parent of a dependent student must also provide a signature. After the student submits the signed form to the school and you enter and submit the application in FAA Access to CPS Online, you maintain the signed form as documentation in the student’s file.

  3. The HTML signature and summary page in FAA Access to CPS Online
  4. You also have the option of using the signature page that is part of the application summary in FAA Access to CPS Online to collect the required signature(s). In this scenario, you collect the necessary signed documentation from the student in order to electronically enter the application on behalf of the student. Before submitting the application, you print the HTML version of the application summary that includes the signature page. The student (and parent, if applicable) signs it and you maintain the signed form as documentation in the student’s file.

    Notes:

  • To get to the HTML version of the signature and summary page in FAA Access to CPS Online, choose the option “Print Signature Page/FAFSA Summary” at the end of FAFSA Entry. The certification statement and signature form are presented first, followed by a summary of the application information you entered. To print, select “Print Signature Page.”

  • If you scroll to the bottom of the HTML summary, you will see the option to “View Printable Page.” This button will take you to a PDF summary of the application information, which formats the data in a slightly different manner. However, it does not contain the signature page, and therefore cannot be used for documentation purposes. We encourage you to use the HTML signature and summary page to collect the required signature(s), if you do not have a signed PDF FAFSA as described in Option #1.

If You Have Questions

If you have questions about printing a signature page in FAA Access to CPS Online, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

If your students have questions about the PDF FAFSA, they should contactthe Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800/4-FED-AID (800/433-3243); 319/337-5665; or TDD/TTY 800/730-8913.

Last Modified: 06/16/2008