Common FAFSA Mistakes
The following items tend to be incorrectly reported on aid applications. You/your parents may be asked to document such items or others if requested. Item numbers pertain to both the FAFSA and the RENEWAL FAFSA, paper and electronic.
Do NOT submit copies of tax transcripts to Student Financial Services (SFS), unless we request them. We will notify you if you are selected for verification.
Marital Status (Questions 16, 46, and 58)
You must report marital status as of the date you file the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA for all individuals about whom you give information. If you are not married as of the date you sign the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA, check "unmarried" even if you plan to marry during the award year. Intended spouses cannot be included in household size, and this item cannot be updated after filing the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA. If your natural mother and father are divorced and the responsible parent has remarried, when indicating the responsible parent's marital status, mark the box that says "married" AND include income/asset information for both parent AND stepparent. Note that if stepparent information is required, there is never an exception. No prenuptial agreements are recognized by the federal government for aid application purposes.
Number in Household (Questions 72 and 93)
Include only the number of people that your parents/you now support and for whom your parents/you will continue to provide more than 50% support between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013 (including an unborn child, if that child will be born before or during the award year). Also include your parents' other dependent children who will be attending post secondary schools in 2012-2013. Always include yourself (the student).
Number in College (Question 73 and 94)
Include only household members who will attend college between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, at least half-time per semester. Students must be working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized educational credential at a college eligible to participate in federal student aid programs. Parents attending college cannot be included.
Questions 44 and 92
- Payments to tax-deferred pension and savings plans.
- Untaxed portions of IRA and Keogh payments, 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
- Child support received for all children [total amount of child support you/your parent(s) received.
- Tax exempt interest income.
- Untaxed portions of pensions (excluding "rollovers," which must be identified as such on the IRS return).
- Military/clergy housing, food, living allowances.
- Cash support or any money paid on your behalf (include rent/mortgage, tuition, insurance paid by someone other than the parent, if dependent).
Adjusted Gross Income/Income Tax Paid Information (Questions 35/36 and 83/84)
- Use a completed tax return if at all possible when completing the financial aid application.
- If your tax filing is delayed, estimate your information to meet the "on-time" UF aid deadline. If you estimate, be sure to update your application when your tax filing is complete.
- When reporting U.S. taxes paid, do NOT report the amount of tax "withheld" and do NOT include any self employment taxes.
- If your responsible parent is remarried (even if they were not married during the tax year that is required for the FAFSA), you must include your stepparent's income and asset information.
If you/your parents are married and filed separate income tax returns, income information from both tax returns must be combined and reported.
- If you or your parents are divorced, separated, or widowed, DO NOT include information about your or your parent's spouse. For further assistance, call us at 580.774.3786.
Asset Information (Questions 40, 41, 42, 88, 89, 90)
When answering questions pertaining to parent/student assets, you must report the net worth of those assets as of the date you complete the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA. These items cannot be updated after filing the original form.
(Questions 43 and 91)
Additional Financial Information should be reported in this item when you/your parents have paid child support or reported as income Federal Work Study, scholarships and/or grants, Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits, or AmeriCorps awards.
Question 23. Students must answer the question about drug-related offenses
Do not leave this question blank. A drug-related conviction does not necessarily mean you are ineligible for aid. If you have a drug related conviction that happened while you were receiving Federal Financial Aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID and get a worksheet for Question 23. It will guide you through to determine when your aid eligibility returns.
Correcting your FAFSA
Once you submit your FAFSA data to be processed, if corrections are needed the best option is to come by the Student Financial Services Office in the Thomas P. Stafford Center, Room #224 and speak with a Financial Services Counselor. We will help you determine the right procedure to follow to correct the problem.
It is possible to correct your Student Aid Report (SAR) by emailing it back to the federal processing center. However, often this does not completely resolve the problem and causes significant delays due to mailing and waiting time. Our office is capable of sending corrections electronically to the federal government's computer system. This is a much quicker and more accurate way of resolving information conflicts.