The first step toward receiving financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) any time between January 1 and April 1 each year. Applications completed after April 1 will be processed on a rolling basis.
By completing the FAFSA, undergraduate students will be considered for federal aid, which can include Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Grants, such as Pell and SEOG, State Grants such as the PHEAA state Grant, and Federal Work Study Programs.
If students or parents have not completed their Federal Income Tax Return prior to completing the FAFSA, estimated income information should be used. After completion of the Federal Income Tax Return, update the estimated income information reported on the FAFSA.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool securely transfers federal tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA, saving time and increasing accuracy. The retrieval tool is available 1-2 weeks after filing an electronic return or 6-8 weeks after filing a paper return. Remember to complete the FAFSA by April 1.
This IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) Tutorial will help you to understand more about how to use the DRT process.
After completing the FAFSA, additional information may be needed if the aid has not yet disbursed to the student's account. For example, The Department of Education selects 1 in every 3 students for the Federal Verification Process. Find out more by visiting the aid distribution page.