Maintained for Historical Purposes

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

Simplified Needs Test

AwardYear: 1997-1998
Edition: PostSecondary
Part: 3 - - Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
SectionTitle: Simplified Needs Test

PageNumbers: 74

Simplified Needs Test

Purpose: Page 7 of the instructions to the FAFSA includes
worksheets A and B, which are used to determine if a student needs
to fill out the information in Section G. The primary purpose of the
"Simplified Needs Test" is to shorten the application process for
some students.

Basically, a dependent student does not have to fill out the asset
information in Section G if the parents' income was less than
$50,000 and the student and his or her parents were not required to
use the IRS Form 1040 to file taxes. An independent student
qualifies for the Simplified Needs Test and does not have to
complete Section G when a student's (or a married couple's) income
is less than $50,000 and the student (and spouse) are not required
to file an IRS Form 1040.

Independent students fill out Worksheet A; dependent students fill
out Worksheet B. Question 1 on each worksheet asks whether the
student, the student's spouse, or, for a dependent student, the
student's parent was required to complete the 1040. If any one of
these people was required to complete the 1040 (for example, to
report business income), the student does not need to fill out the rest
of the worksheet and must complete Section G. However, if the
student, spouse, or parent completed the 1040 but could have filed
the 1040A or 1040EZ (for example, if he or she filed through a tax
preparer that only uses the 1040), the student must complete the rest
of the worksheet to determine if he or she qualifies for the Simplified
Needs Test.

Questions 2 and 3 on the worksheets ask for the income used to
determine whether the student qualifies for the Simplified Needs
Test. Tax filers complete Question 2; non-tax filers complete
Question 3. These questions list the question numbers for
information that should be copied from Section F. If the amount
reported in Question 2 or 3 is $50,000 or more, the student must
complete Section G (and the rest of the form).

The Simplified Needs Test will usually increase a student's eligibility
for federal student aid programs because it does not include family
assets. However, a student who qualifies for the Simplified Needs
Test might need to complete Section G if he or she wants to be
considered for certain types of nonfederal student financial aid from
the postsecondary school he or she will be attending, the state in
which he or she is a legal resident, or the state in which the
postsecondary school is located.

Last Modified: 08/23/1998