Maintained for Historical Purposes

This resource is being maintained for historical purposes only and is not currently applicable.

Submitting an initial application

AwardYear: 1996-1997
Edition: PostSecondary
Part: 2 - - The application process for financial aid
SectionTitle: Submitting an initial application

PageNumbers: 29-30

Students must complete the FAFSA accurately. If a student submits a
paper FAFSA, it must be legible and mailed in time for the processor
to receive it by the deadline. The same deadlines apply if a student is
filing the FAFSA electronically. (See page 55 for a complete list of
deadlines.) The FAFSA must be mailed to the address specified in
the FAFSA the student completed. Please caution students that there
are NO EXCEPTIONS to the deadlines. It is important to note that
states and schools often set earlier deadlines in awarding aid from
some programs, including the campus-based programs (Federal
Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
Grants, and Federal Work-Study). Students should find out their
schools' deadlines well in advance of applying for financial aid. A
student must also keep in mind that eligibility does not continue year
to year and a FAFSA needs to be filed each year.

If you could give students only one piece of advice as they complete
a FAFSA, it should be to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. This advice
cannot be overemphasized; most errors are caused by students
making assumptions about what information is being requested.
Careless errors on the application, such as an incorrect Social
Security Number, also cause delays in processing. Such delays may
cause students who are otherwise eligible to miss the deadline to
qualify for aid.

Please note that there was a printing error on Item #85 of Section G,
"Asset Information," on some FAFSAs. This item is "Cash, savings,
and checking accounts." The decimal point and zeroes have been
omitted from this item. The Department recommends rounding the
amount to the nearest dollar and entering it in the blocks provided,
flush right. Thus, for example, if the figure is $1,163.41, it should
be rounded to $1,163. The 3 would be written in the block that
usually contains the ".00".

[[A Chart from page 29 is currently unavailable for viewing. Please
reference your paper document for additional information.]]

The data entry specialists have been instructed to look for a decimal
point and only enter figures that appear to the left of the decimal
point. If there is no decimal point, they will enter the figures reported
as a whole number.

It is important for students to save all records and other materials
used in completing the FAFSA because they may need them later if
either the Department or their schools select them for a process
called verification (see page 38). Verification is the process by which
students will have to confirm that what was reported on the aid
application is correct. Students should keep photocopies of their
completed FAFSAs. Many schools conduct their own form of
verification. Most verification requires the submission of a copy of
signed tax returns from the student and the parents (if applicable).

Please note that there are situations in which application data may
need to be modified. For example, if a student has unusual
circumstances that make him or her independent, the financial aid
administrator may use professional judgment to override the
dependent student status determined in Section D of the application.
Have the student fill out Sections A and D of a FAFSA in the usual
manner. However, tell the student to fill out the independent student
information on the remainder of the application, even though the
instructions direct the student to fill out the red-shaded areas as a
dependent student. The completed FAFSA should then be taken to
the financial aid administrator. The financial aid administrator may
also override dependency status using Part 2 of the SAR or through

For 1996-97, the financial aid administrator will mark the
dependency override oval on the FAFSA, fill in the school's Title IV
Institution Number and sign. Note that dependency status can only
be overridden when changing the student's status from dependent to
independent. However, a school may use a SAR or EDE to cancel a
dependency override performed by another financial aid

Further information on dependency override procedures is provided
in the "Dependency Overrides" subsection of the section of Part 2
titled "Making Changes."

Last Modified: 06/15/1998