About the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the gateway to applying for all types of financial aid.

You can fill out the FAFSA online. You must complete a new FAFSA for each academic year.

The FAFSA application for 2020-2021 is now open.

How does the FAFSA work?

The U.S. Department of Education uses your FAFSA to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The EFC is calculated by the Department of Education so that your college can determine how much financial aid assistance you’re eligible for. The lower your EFC, the more need-based aid you may be eligible to receive.

Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

Your EFC determines the type and amount of loans, subsidized or unsubsidized, that are available to you. The difference between these two types of loans is when interest begins to accrue. For subsidized loans, interest does not begin to accrue until six months after graduation, but for unsubsidized loans, interest accrues from the date the loan is disbursed.

What is the deadline to submit the FAFSA?

The priority deadline to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is April 15 for the Fall term and November 15 for the Spring term. We encourage you to apply as soon as your taxes are completed due to some funds being limited and awarded based on eligibility criteria and the FAFSA submission date.

What happens after I submit my FAFSA?

After your FAFSA is submitted with MTC's school code (003993), you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Office of Federal Student Aid. The SAR is a summary of your FAFSA submission and will arrive three days to three weeks after your submission. MTC will receive the same information in the form of an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The Office of Student Financial Services will review the information to determine what types of financial aid you are eligible to receive, then notify you to log into MyMTC. From MyMTC, you can access MyFinancialAid to accept or decline your award(s) from the "Checklist". Within MyFinancialAid, you will also be able to manage your Financial Aid package from submission to completion. The types of aid you have been awarded for the academic year will be listed on the My Awards page and award letter. You must read the entire Award Letter to ensure that you understand all of the requirements to maintain the awards.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

You can use the IRS Data Retrieval Option to link your tax returns to your FAFSA electronically. We strongly encourage you to use this option to streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application. Watch this video tutorial about how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or view the step-by-step instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how to obtain an IRS Tax Transcript.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA, and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA form from the IRS website. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using it for several reasons: 1) It's the easiest way to provide your tax data. 2) It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information. 3) You won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents' tax returns to your college.

Prerequisites for using the IRS Data Retrieval Option

  • You must have filed a federal tax return with the IRS.
  • You must have a valid social security number.
  • You must have a FSA ID. Create one at the Federal Student Aid FSA ID Website.

You can’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Option if:

  • Your marital status changes after December 31
  • You and your spouse filed separate tax returns
  • You are a parent of a dependent student who filed a separate return
  • You filed an amended return
  • You filed a foreign tax return
Verification

Why was I selected for verification?

There are various reasons why a FAFSA may be selected for the verification process:

  • The FAFSA included estimates of federal tax information and the actual information now needs to be confirmed.
  • There appears to be inconsistent or unusual data reported on your FAFSA.
  • Your FAFSA includes information that is frequently misreported.
  • Your FAFSA was selected as a part of a random process used to sample how accurately families fill out the application. 

What happens if I am selected?

If you are selected for verification, you will be notified by email at your MyMTC email address. We will indicate the documentation you need to provide. You can bring your documents into the Student Financial Services office or send them by mail.

Forms

All forms that are being requested of you as a part of the verification process may be found on our forms page.

Submitting Tax Information

If you are selected for verification, we are required to verify the accuracy of the tax data submitted, therefore you will need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submit an IRS Tax Transcript or a signed Federal Tax Return (1040 Form). We recommend that you update your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically transfer your tax information into your FAFSA. Check out this video that walks you through the process, or view these step-by-step instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how to obtain an IRS Tax Transcript.

Prerequisites for using the IRS Data Retrieval Option

  • You must have filed a federal tax return with the IRS (allow 2-3 weeks for availability if you filed electronically, or 8-10 weeks if you filed a paper return.)
  • You must have a valid social security number
  • You must have a Federal Student Aid FSA ID

You cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Option if:

  • Your marital status changes after December 31
  • You and your spouse filed separate tax returns
  • You are a parent of a dependent student who filed a separate return
  • You filed an amended return
  • You filed a foreign tax return

Obtain an IRS Tax Transcript

Personal copies of tax returns are not accepted, so if you are not eligible or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you’ll need to get a tax transcript from the IRS. Get instructions for how to request a tax transcript.

Non-tax filers may request a Verification of Non-filing Letter from the Internal Revenue Service by completing Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, and mail it to the address indicated on the form or fax it to the number indicated. Form 4506-T is available above under "Forms."

Need more help?

Learn more about how to get an FSA ID and which documents you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA at the Federal Student Aid Website.

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) assists students and parents with completing the FAFSA. Contact them to schedule an appointment at 803-822-3749 or eoc@midlandstech.edu.