Q. I am paying for college on my own

A. Congress, in the law that governs the federal student aid programs, defines when parental information is required. Being claimed on a parent’s tax return is not relevant to determining dependency. It is also not relevant if the family’s decision is that paying for college is the responsibility of the student. A student becomes independent when they meet one of the conditions described on the financial aid application. Congress’ intention is to establish the primary responsibility for a student’s education is the student’s and student’s family for their undergraduate degree.


A. It is recommended that you submit your FAFSA online at fafsa.govAlternatively, you can complete a PDF FAFSA (Note: PDF FAFSAs must be mailed for processing) or request a paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). If you are hearing impaired, please contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913.You will then need to mail the completed application in the envelope provided.

A. Yes, electronic filing is faster than filing a paper form. In fact, it may be as many as 14 days faster if you sign your application with your FSA ID as soon as you complete it. TIP: FAFSA on the Web also edits your application before you submit it. This helps ensure that the data you submit is ready to be processed.

Q. How soon after October 1 should the FAFSA form be sent in? Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed?

A. Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is o.k. to use estimates of your income, so long as they aren’t very far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later. If you wait too long, you might miss the deadline for state aid. Most states require the FAFSA to be submitted by March 1, and some even as early as mid-February.

A. If you haven’t received a Student Aid Report (SAR), you can go to and print a copy of your Student Aid Report. If you have trouble accessing your SAR, you may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (toll free) or 1-319-337-5665. You must provide them with your Social Security number and date of birth as verification.

? Taxes

A. The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half-time).

Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The student should also be careful to report amounts based on the calendar year, not the school year. You should receive W-2s at the end of January.

? Scholarships

A. Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from outside sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office.

?Resources-Additional Questions

A. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-800-730-8913 (if hearing impaired) and ask for a free copy of The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of payday loans MI Education. This toll free hotline is run by the US Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications.

A. The FAFSA and FAFSA worksheets are available at You can also check with your local high school counselor’s office or the financial aid office at a college or university near you.