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FAFSA Guide for Students and Parents

New Students: Prepare  |  File  |  Verification  |  Follow-up                                  Continuing Students: Renew FAFSA

PREPARE (October - February)

      1. Apply for Admission   
      2. Create an FSA ID
        • The FSA ID - a username and password - has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. 
      3. To complete the FAFSA, you will need the following information for student and parent(s):
        • Social Security Number 
        • Driver's license
        • W-2 Forms for the previous year and other records of money earned
        • Most recent Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or foreign tax return
        • Records of child support paid (if applicable)
        • Records of taxable earnings from federal work-study or other need-based work programs
        • Records of any grants, scholarships, and fellowship aid that was included in your or your parents' adjusted gross income (AGI)
        • Current bank statements
        • Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records
        • Documentation of U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen status
      4. Complete a FAFSA Worksheet before starting your FAFSA application

Check out this video from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid,  to learn how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives you access to grants, loans and work-study jobs that can help fund your education. Visit StudentAid.gov to learn more.

FILE (January 1 - March 2)

Important Dates:

      • Students can begin completing the  FAFSA: January 1  
      • FAFSA priority filing deadline for all new students: January 15
      • Deadline for   Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (CA Residents only): March 2    

Review important tips and information before completing the FAFSA: 

How to create an FSA ID?  Tip Sheet for Military And Veterans
 FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid  Tip Sheet for Undocumented Students
 Students in Unique Situations: Tips for Completing the FAFSA  Tip Sheet for Adult Learners 

      • Name and Social Security Number 
        Enter your name and Social Security Number exactly as they appear on your Social Security Card. 

      • Degree or certificate
        Unless you will be a graduate student, a professional Pharmacy student, or a fifth-year teaching credential student when you enter Pacific, indicate 1 (1st bachelor's degree). 

      • Grade level
        Entering Freshmen: Indicate 0 (never attended college/first year undergraduate), even if you have college units earned while in high school. Transfer Students (including freshmen attending another college or university in Spring 2016 or Fall 2016): Estimate your grade level at Pacific, counting transferable units, only.

      • First bachelor's degree before July 1, of your incoming year?
        If you will not have a four-year college degree when you enter Pacific, indicate No. 

      • Federal school code & housing plans
        University of the Pacific's School Code is 001329. 

      • Highest grade level parents completed
        Answer for both of your legal parents (or adoptive parents). 

      • Legal Guardian
        The definition of legal guardianship does not include your parents, even if they were appointed by a court to be your guardians. You are also not considered a legal guardian of yourself. By answering "Yes" it means you can provide a copy of the court's decision giving you this legal status. 

      • Students financial information
        All students must fill out this section, even if you don't have any income, savings, or investments and do not a Federal Income Tax Return. If an item does not apply to you, enter 0. 

      • Read, and sign with your FSA ID:  https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
        Make sure FAFSA is signed with student FSA ID. If parent information is required on your FAFSA, a parent FSA ID is also required.

      • Click on the image below to complete FAFSA:

click here for FAFSA Web Site

      • FAFSA Help Desk: 1.800.433.3243
      • If you are a California Resident, make sure your school has submitted your GPA Verification to the California Student Aid Commission.

 back to PREPARE

VERIFICATION (March - July) 

If you are attending the 2016-2017 academic year, you will need to submit 2015 income documents for verification. As soon as possible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or send us a complete copy of your 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript, or Non-Filer's Statement and W-2 Forms to the Office of Financial Aid. If parent information is required on your FAFSA, also send a copy of your parent(s) 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript and W-2 Forms. 

If student or parent(s) filed a Tax Return, your options are: IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), or IRS Tax Return Transcript, or Non-Filer's Statement.

1st Option: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA

      1. To use the DRT, log on to the  FAFSA website and proceed to the parent and/or student financial section where there will be a box labeled Click here to enlargeIRS Data Retrieval Tool.
      2. Provide the requested information and you will be directed to the IRS's website, where you will authorize the IRS to transfer your tax information onto the FAFSA.
      3. You will then be directed back to the FAFSA website, where you will sign and resubmit your FAFSA with Pacific's school code, 001329.
      4. If the FAFSA is not resubmitted after the DRT is used, the tax information will not transfer to Pacific.
      5. Submit copies of all W-2 Forms to the Office of Financial Aid.

 Note: You do not need to request a IRS Tax Return Transcript if the DRT was successful.


2nd Option: Send us a copy of  the 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript

Image of Tax Return Transcript


 How do I request/print a IRS Tax Return Transcript?

      1. Go to  http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
      2. Click on "Get Transcript Online" (view and print your transcript immediately) or "Get Transcript by Mail" (takes 5 to 10 business days to arrive)
      3. Create an account or sign in.
      4. Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on the IRS Income Tax Return, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the IRS Tax Return).
      5. Request/select the "IRS Tax Return Transcript" and NOT the "IRS Tax Account Transcript".
      6. Submit copies of all W-2 Forms to the Office of Financial Aid.


3rd Option: Non-Filer's Statement

If IRS Tax Return will not be filled, complete and submit the Non-Filer's statement below, along with copies of W-2 Forms.

 2015 Student Income Form

 2015 Parent Income Form

 back to FILE

FOLLOW-UP (May - July)

Have all requirements listed under the Financial Aid section of your insidePacific been resolved (i.e. "signed off") with an "R" status?

      • Aid is estimated until all requirements have been resolved/signed off.

Have you reviewed and accepted/declined your financial aid awards, including desired loan amounts, located on your insidePacific? (click on the image below)

Stafford Loans

      • Have you completed BOTH the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note?

If you have been awarded a Cal Grant, have you completed the "High School Graduation Certification Form"?

Does your Parent(s) want to apply for the Federal PLUS Loan?


RENEW- For Continuing Students Only (January - March 2)

Deadline for continuing Pacific StudentsMarch 2nd 

      • Create an FSA ID before starting the FAFSA.
      • Complete FAFSA Renewal Application at  FAFSA.
        • Make sure FAFSA is signed with both student and parent FSA ID's, if required.

Grade Level

      • Continuing Pacific students should indicate their projected grade level for the following academic year (i.e. counting in courses that will be completed at the end of spring). 

California Students 

      • If you are a continuing student who had a Cal Grant last year, the Office of the Registrar will automatically submit your GPA Verification.
      • If you did not receive a Cal Grant last year and are applying for one this year, you are responsible for requesting a GPA Verification. 
        • More than 24 units earned at Pacific: Request from the Office of the Registrar.
        • Less than 24 units earned at Pacific: Request from High School or Prior College.

Tax Return Transcript for Continuing Students

      • Returning students do NOT need to submit a Tax Return Transcript and W-2 Forms, unless requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

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