Part: 3 - - Completing The FAFSA
SectionTitle: Section A "You (the student)"
Section A "You (the student)"
Purpose: The FAFSA collects identifying information that is used to track a student (name, telephone number, address, SSN, and so on) and other information that affects a student's basic eligibility for federal student aid. For instance, Section A includes a question about citizenship status because a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen to receive federal student aid. Similarly, a student who has a bachelor's degree is ineligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant or an FSEOG. For 1998-99, three questions about the student's education background were added to Section A. (The questions used to be in a separate Section B.) These questions collect information on the educational background of a student and his or her parents. Some state agencies use this information to award grants and scholarships.
Questions 1-3 ask for the student's name. The name, along with other identifying information, is used for several of the data matches. Because the Department matches the name and SSN with the SSA, the name provided here should match the name on the student's Social Security card. Otherwise, the student may receive a comment about the inconsistency, and some of the other match results may be inconsistent.
Questions 4-7 ask for a student's permanent mailing address. The student generally must give a permanent home mailing address (not a school or office address). An incarcerated student may use his or her school's administrative address or the correctional facility's address. If such a student uses the school's administrative address, he or she must include with the FAFSA a letter from the school indicating that he or she is incarcerated and is, therefore, using the school's address.
Question 8 asks for a student's SSN. A student must have an SSN to apply for federal financial aid. If the student submits a FAFSA without an SSN, the FAFSA will be returned to the student unprocessed. To get an SSN, or to determine what it is if a student's Social Security card has been lost, the student must contact the local Social Security office. For additional information (in English and Spanish), a student should call the SSA at 1-800/772-1213.
[[This file contains graphics of the FAFSA instructions for Question 4 to 8 in Portable Document Format (PDF). It can be viewed with version 3.0 or greater of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.]]
The one exception to the SSN requirement is for students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau. They should send their FAFSAs to the following address not to the address on the FAFSAs or on the FAFSA envelopes:
Federal Student Aid Programs
P.O. Box 4003
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-8603
Questions 11 and 12 ask for the student's state and date of legal residence. The student's state of legal residence identifies the state agency to which information will be sent unless the student has refused to authorize such a release in Section G of the form. The state then may use this information to determine eligibility for state student aid programs. The student's state of legal residence is also used in the EFC calculation to determine the appropriate allowance for state and other taxes paid by that state's residents. For a dependent student, the state of legal residence is usually the state in which his or her parents live.
Questions 17 and 18 ask about a student's marital status because the treatment of a student's income and assets in the EFC calculation is directly affected by the student's marital status. Marital status cannot be projected - the student must report his or her marital status as of the date the application is completed.
[[This file contains graphics of the FAFSA instructions for Question 17 and 18 in Portable Document Format (PDF). It can be viewed with version 3.0 or greater of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.]]
Question 19 asks whether a student will have a first bachelor's degree before July 1, 1998 because eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and FSEOGs is restricted to students who have not yet received bachelor's degrees. If the student answers "yes" to this question, a message saying the student has received a bachelor's degree will be printed at the top of page one of the SAR or on the electronic filing results. If a student incorrectly reports "yes" to question 19, he or she must submit a correction to be eligible for a Pell Grant. Question 20 asks whether a student will have received his or her high school diploma or earned a GED before the first date of his or her enrollment in college.
Questions 21 and 22 ask for the highest grade level completed by a student's father and mother. Father and mother in these questions mean the student's birth parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardian(s), but not stepparents or foster parents. Note that this definition of parents is unique to this question.