It’s Tax Time! College Applicants Beware!

by Todd Weaver on February 8, 2016

Signing a Check

If you don’t have a high school Senior, this message may not apply to you… but please stay tuned to our blog – we’re going to be sending some great material in the next few weeks!

For those of you with high school Seniors…

We’re getting down to the last few months of waiting… Nearly every college will respond to a student by April 1, 2016 with their offer of admission, denial, waitlist, and a financial aid award.

Will the financial aid award letter be the “final offer?” Not necessarily.

Here’s a great video on the Insider’s Guide to Financial Aid – even though it’s a few years old, the process is the same for applicants for the Fall of 2016.

Now that your financial aid forms have been submitted, or soon will be, the next step is for you to have your federal tax return ready as soon as possible.

Some colleges will require you to submit a signed copy of your return as early as March 1st.

This DOES NOT mean that you have filed your taxes prior to the tax deadline of April 15th — you just have signed copies ready to go.

Schools will request your returns because your student’s name:

  • Was selected at random by the Federal Government for a process known as Verification
  • Applied to a college that requires you to mail or fax signed copies of your tax returns directly to the college
  • Applied to a college that uses the Institutional Documentation Service or IDOC to securely transmit them
  • Applied to a college that verifies tax information directly through the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), or will ask for your Tax Transcript

Not meeting a college’s tax return requirements may not necessarily reduce or rescind a financial aid award. But most financial aid awards will continue to be “provisional” until your taxes have been received by the colleges. If you can’t or don’t meet the college’s tax return deadlines, please have them completed as soon as possible.

For example, MIT asks parents to submit a hard copy of their 2014 tax return now, if they won’t have their 2015 taxes done for IDOC by February 15, 2016.

If your student did not file taxes for 2015 (or is not required to), and a college still wants the student tax form, you may have to file the “non-tax filer IDOC form” to complete the financial aid requirements for the school. Make sure you look up and obtain that form, if necessary.

A great place to find pertinent information is the Financial Aid web page of the college(s).

Stay on top of your emails, and have your student applicant (aka: high school Senior) keep an eye on their email – on a daily basis! Don’t miss replying to important forms, on time! Or you’ll find yourself, out of time… and out of money for college!

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Crazy Notes from Financial Aid!

by Todd Weaver on January 26, 2016

scholarship_dollarHas your student received one of these notes?

Dear STUDENT,
IMPORTANT – Financial Aid Application Status
We are sending this email reminder as a courtesy.
Your admission application indicates that you and your family are applying for financial aid consideration. As of today we have not received the CSS PROFILE financial aid application,  which is required for us to be able to consider you for grant assistance.
February 1 is the deadline to submit the CSS PROFILE. The link to the CSS PROFILE is https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile.
Please be advised that if your financial aid application remains incomplete you will be ineligible for admission to OUR COLLEGE.
If you no longer intend to apply for grant assistance, please email the financial aid office and request to have your admission application updated.
Please just let us know if you have any questions.
Warm Regards,
Financial Aid Office

Well, it turns out the student who received this note today, actually had submitted the CSS PROFILE several days ago.

If you have submitted the CSS PROFILE (and FAFSA), then go to the “Status Application” section of the CSS PROFILE to review the submission dates. Then, contact the college in question, to let them know that the Profile has been filed and the email should be ignored.

You’ll see this note to help you out.

If a financial aid office has told you that they have not received your PROFILE and this status indicates that
it has been reported, you can be certain that your college has your information. Because colleges receive
many PROFILE reports each day, your report is most likely in process. Your PROFILE Acknowledgment may
tell you when you can expect to receive a financial aid award letter from your college.

Keep watching out for those pesky emails from Financial Aid – so that you can respond to their queries quickly. And make sure your student is checking their email on a daily basis!

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College Application Reading Time! What Should A Student Do While Waiting?

January 11, 2016

Tweet Tweet It’s that time of the college application season again – Reading Period! This is the time of the year when college admissions folks become invisible to the general public, their spouses, and their children as they are holed up, reading applications. Doing their best at giving applicants a “holistic” review. So does anyone […]

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