Are Your 2014 Taxes Done Yet? Better Get On It!

by Todd Weaver on February 27, 2015

The (In)Famous FAFSA The (In)Famous FAFSA

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 month of waiting… Nearly every college will respond to a student by April 1, 2015 with their offer of admission, denial, waitlist, and a financial aid award.

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

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 2013 tax return now, if they won’t have their 2014 taxes done for IDOC by March 3, 2015.

If your student did not file taxes for 2014 (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.

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!



The February issue of The Strategies For College Advisor is now ready.  Download in pdf at the bottom of this page.  If you do not regularly receive this publication, you may subscribe to your right (Get Updates).

Much to cover this month, so I decided to

  • share a few snippets of each topic in this month’s Advisor and,
  • provide an update on new private educational loans (yes, Virginia, the banks are back in business)

When it comes to researching colleges, the plethora of numbers are enough to send one back to Instagram. College profiles, guidebooks and websites drown the researcher in statistics.  Here’s a better way.   Read more.

Financial aid statistics are misleading. For example, average indebtedness at graduation is simply a mathematical mean that, by taking into account widely disparate figures, can distort actual reality. Without quite a bit more information, the average itself is less-than-helpful.  Read more.

Does majoring in the classics make any sense?  You’ll be surprised to know that a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that students who major or double-major in classics have a better success rate getting into medical school than do students who concentrate solely in one of the branches of science.

According to Harvard Magazine, classics majors (along with math majors) also have the highest success rates of any majors in law school.  Read more.

Those interested in attending a service academy should investigate requirements early. Speak to recruiters at college fairs and learn about the process of obtaining a congressional nomination. Visit academy websites and consider attending a summer session after junior year to preview cadet life. Completing the pre-candidate questionnaire at the respective website gets you into their database and they’ll follow-up with you.  Read more.

Financing College Education:

Finally, if you are considering financing some or all of your college costs, many new private loan programs that have sprung up from within the banking industry especially for parents.  A recent Wall Street Journal article provides the background for you.

Despite conventional wisdom, home equity loans, Federal PLUS loans, 401(k) loans and even withdrawals from income producing assets may NOT be your best options. So, this month’s advice includes our strong recommendation that you evaluate the private loans for which you might qualify and the outrageously low interest rates available for those with very high FICO scores.  Why put a hook in your home if it’s not absolutely necessary?  Oh, and lest I forget, interest on private loans is deductible “above the line” as in “accountant-speak” which means you do not need to be itemizing deductions to take advantage of the interest write off.

We have devoted a special page on our website for you to begin the analysis of these private loans.  Feel free to contact us if you have questions.  More to come on this important topic in the next few months.

Yours for college success,




Founder, Strategies For College, Inc.

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Do You Want To Build A Snowman? College Visits In February!

January 20, 2015

Tweet Tweet We wanted to share this blog post from our colleague and affiliate, MaryPat St. Jean. We thought is appropriate to share during the time of the year when the president is giving the State of Union Address and high school Juniors start venturing out to visit colleges. Each year colleges and universities are […]

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