FAFSA Tips

To receive financial aid through Georgia State University, each student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for many scholarships (including general scholarships from the University) and to award a student financial aid in the form of grants, work study, and federal loans. (Alternative educational loans must be applied for separately through a private lender or bank.) The FAFSA is available for completion on January 1 prior to the upcoming aid year, and must be submitted (with valid signatures) by Georgia State’s April 1 priority deadline.

If you completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for financial aid for the previous academic year, you should receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education with instructions about how to once again submit the application electronically.

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) on your FAFSA

Students and parents who have filed their 2013 tax returns with the IRS are asked to use the IRS DRT when completing their 2014-2015 FAFSA online.  This is a quick an easy way to transfer information from your federal tax turns directly into your FAFSA.  You may be able to use the tool if you filed your taxes electronically at least two weeks or if you filed on paper at least eight weeks before completing your FAFSA.

If you file your FAFSA before your federal tax return information is available, you can go back to your FAFSA and select the IRS Data Retrieval to update your tax information.  Just notify our office once the change is confirmed.

Students who are selected for verification but cannot use the IRS DRT can order an IRS tax transcript(s) online or call 1-800-908-9946. The transcript will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 business days.

Georgia State’s Federal School code for the FAFSA is 001574.

The FAFSA can be completed online or on paper. Although the online FAFSA is the preferred method, a student can request up to three paper FAFSAs by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Before you complete the FAFSA, you will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Department of Education. After you have completed the FAFSA, you will receive an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). After you have completed the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).

Documents needed for the FAFSA

It is helpful to assemble the documents needed to complete the FAFSA ahead of time. Students and parents will need:

  1. Social Security Number
  2. Driver’s license
  3. Income tax return
  4. Bank Statements
  5. Investment records

You may need to provide additional information if requested. Some students will be required to complete the process of verification. Verification is the process in which OSFA must verify that the information on the FAFSA is accurate. If you are selected for Verification, you must complete the Verification process before any awards will be finalized. Our office will contact you about submitting additional required documents. OSFA will submit any and all changes required as a result of Verification.

FAFSA Tips

The FAFSA is required each year when applying for need- based funds. The following list is a guide for completing the FAFSA. By adhering to these suggestions, students, and parents will prevent unnecessary delays. Accurate reporting and attention to detail are key elements in completing your application.

  • To complete the FAFSA on the Web both the parent and the student must obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Visit www.pin.ed.gov for information about obtaining and using a PIN. Securing a PIN before filling out the FAFSA will greatly expedite the process.
  • Be sure to include the federal school code for Georgia State University (001574) on the FAFSA.
  • Do not use estimated income.
  • Do not respond with a symbol such as N/A to a question that requires a number. It could invalidate your entire application.
  • Be sure all required information has been provided on the FAFSA. If the answer is “zero” fill in “0″. Leaving it blank, could be interpreted as intentionally not providing a correct answer.
  • Be sure to read the instructions carefully for guidance as to who is eligible for inclusion in family size and number in college.

Helpful Hints

  • Apply early. Do not wait until you have been accepted for admission. Do not wait until the last minute to complete the financial aid application materials. An early start will leave time to collect information, ask questions, and solve problems.
  • Read instructions and follow directions carefully. Completing your FAFSA inaccurately will delay your financial aid.
  • Set up a financial aid file and keep copies of all documents.
  • The OSFA may request additional documents to support your application.
  • Carefully read all correspondence from the OSFA. Note that e-mail is the official means of communication at Georgia State .
  • Make sure all documents submitted are complete, accurate, and signed as required.
  • Respond promptly to all requests for additional information.
  • Print student’s name and PANTHER ID# on all documents submitted for OSFA
  • Don’t mail tax forms or other documents to OSFA unless specifically asked to do so.