Student Eligibility for Title IV Aid

Report
The Application Process and
Student Eligibility

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is
central element of federal student aid application
process

FAFSA data are used to:

Compute the expected family contribution (EFC)

Confirm certain student eligibility criteria via database
matches with federal agencies

Required by some states and institutions to
determine eligibility for state and institutional aid
programs

Cannot be required to determine Title IV eligibility,
except when:

Verifying FAFSA data

Resolving conflicting information

Explain how to apply for Title IV aid

Identify and describe various methods
students may use to apply for financial aid

Practice completion of FAFSA on the Web
Worksheet

Explain how FAFSA data are processed by Central
Processing System (CPS)

Identify and describe types of FAFSA processing
output

Review how to:

Make changes to applicant data

Override student dependency status
There are multiple versions of the FAFSA:
 The
paper FAFSA
 FAFSA
on the Web (FOTW)
 FAA Access
 FAFSA
to CPS Online
on the Phone
Students and parents can obtain paper FAFSA by:
Calling Federal Student Aid Information Center
(FSAIC) at 1.800.4.FED.AID (or
1.800.433.3243)


Downloading PDF version
 Students

www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov
 Institutions

www.FSAPubs.gov
FAFSA is a 10-page booklet containing:
 Four
instructional pages for assistance in
completing form
 Six
application pages

Dependent students complete yellow and
purple sections, and

Independent students (and their spouses, if
applicable) complete only yellow sections
FAFSA may be filed electronically via:
 FOTW
 FAA Access to CPS Online






Available in English and Spanish
Real-time FAFSA submission and updates
Ability to electronically sign using a Federal
Student Aid (FSA) Personal Identification Number
(PIN)
Seven-step organization
Instructions and “help text” for certain questions
Skip-logic allowing student and/or parent to skip
unnecessary questions

Built-in edits check for errors prior to submission

Ability to check application status on-line

Printable FOTW Worksheet assists in collecting
necessary application information
To use:

School must register with U.S. Department of
Education (ED)

Financial aid administrator must have user ID and
password
Both parent and student may apply for FSA PIN which
may be used as:

Personal identifier to access personal information
on various FSA electronic systems

Electronic signature to sign FOTW

May obtain FSA PIN before or after completing FOTW

First-time PIN applicants and students
requesting duplicate PIN or changing PIN can
receive their PIN in “real time”

Applicants can create their own PIN identifier
when they apply or have PIN assigned but there
is usually a 3 day wait before it is active

FOTP provides applicants with assistance from
customer service representative in completing
FAFSA

Alternative for FAFSA applicants; not intended to
replace FOTW

Intended for applicants who have limited or no
Internet access, and who are facing pressing
deadlines
Dependent applicants unable to provide parental
information due to a special family circumstance may
use FAFSA on the Web to bypass the parent questions

Process enables students and parents to
transfer tax return information from IRS
website directly to FOTW application

IRS Data Retrieval also available for
corrections
Reminder to answer all applicable questions
accurately
Instructions on listing colleges to receive FAFSA
Instructions on completing the preparer’s
section, if applicable
Instructions on reviewing application data online
Instructions on signing the FAFSA
Three methods to sign application:
 Electronically
using FSA PIN;
 Sign
printed copy of signature page; or
 Sign
rejected Student Aid Report (SAR)
 Application


must be dated and signed by:
Student and one parent if student is dependent;
or
Student if student is independent
 Signing
application: Certifies accuracy of data,
acknowledges ED authority to verify information
reported with other federal agencies, agrees to
provide any information requested, certifies
identity, acknowledges consequences of false
information, and agrees to certain application
certification statements
If the student and/or parent has a FSA PIN, he or
she may sign application electronically after
completing application or after submitting it for
processing
Student and parent (if dependent) may also sign
application by:
Printing, signing, and mailing FOTW signature page
to CPS; or

Signing rejected SAR and returning it to CPS
address on SAR

Students must meet several general eligibility
requirements

Some requirements are student related

Others relate to the program of study
Criteria categories:
1. Checked via application process
2. Checked and monitored by school
3. Not specifically checked, but
must be resolved if conflicting
information exists

Database match between Central Processing
System (CPS) and Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) to confirm eligible noncitizen
status

If primary verification confirms eligible
noncitizen status, no further proof is required

CPS submits automated DHS secondary
confirmation request to DHS if primary
verification failed and an Alien Registration
Number was provided on the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Automated secondary confirmation usually is
completed within 3 days
School must initiate if:




Eligible noncitizen status not confirmed via
automated DHS secondary confirmation;
Results of automated secondary confirmation
not received after at least 5, but not >15
business days of receiving the Institutional
Student Information Record (ISIR);
School has conflicting information; or
School believes student information is
incorrect
Three types of Social Security Administration (SSA)
database matches:

Student’s Social Security Number (SSN)

Parent’s SSN
 Date
of death
Student and parent PLUS borrower must:

Not be in default on a Title IV loan

Not owe a Title IV overpayment

Not have exceeded Title IV loan limits

Have fully repaid any fraudulently obtained Title IV
funds

Two sets of student eligibility requirements apply

Different means used to determine whether student
meets the requirements

Department of Justice database match

Question 23 on 2011–12 FAFSA
School may not admit as a regular student persons
who:

Do not have high school diploma or its
recognized equivalent; and

Are below the age of compulsory attendance in
the state in which school is located
To be eligible, short-term program must:
Admit as regular students some persons who
have not completed equivalent of associate
degree
 Have completion and placement rates of at least
70%
 Not be more than 50% longer than minimum
training program required for specified
occupation
 Have been in existence for at least 1 year


Student and parent, if applicable, must sign
before school transmits

Signature page must be maintained in
accordance with record retention requirements

Social Security Administration (SSA):

Social Security Number (SSN)
Master Death File

U.S. citizenship


Department of Homeland Security (DHS):


Eligible noncitizen status
Selective Service System:

Registration with Selective Service

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Title
IV funds:




Loan defaults
Exceeds loan limits
Any unpaid fraudulently obtained funds
Repayments

Department of Defense:

•
Identify eligible students for increased aid
due to parent or guardian death as a result
of U.S. military service in Iraq or
Afghanistan after 9/11/2001
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Verification of
veteran status
Department of Justice Hold File:
 Title
IV suspension or termination due to drug
conviction

Official EFC: Calculated using CPS edits and
database matches

If eligible for Simplified Needs Test (SNT), CPS
calculates primary and secondary EFCs if asset
data provided

Primary EFC - assets excluded

Secondary EFC - assets included
Processed application output sent to:

Student in form of SAR (paper or electronic)

School in form of Institutional Student Information
Record (ISIR)

Student’s state agency in form of ISIR

Summarizes information reported on application
(paper or electronic)

Provides processing results including:

EFC

Messages related to database matches

Verification selection

Eligibility for Title IV aid

Student output depends on whether the student
provided e-mail address

CPS sends student:



E-mail Notification of SAR Processing, if
e-mail address is provided;
Paper SAR, if paper FAFSA and no e-mail address; or
Paper SAR Acknowledgement, if electronic application
and no e-mail address

E-mail notifying student that FAFSA processing
results are available on-line


Contains link to student’s SAR on the Web
If returned as undeliverable, paper SAR or SAR
Acknowledgement is sent
Paper SAR enables students to readily determine:

Status of their FAFSA (complete or incomplete)

Eligibility or ineligibility for Federal Pell Grant

Next steps in the application process
SAR Acknowledgement is sent to student whose
application data was electronically submitted and no
e-mail address provided

Includes EFC

Establishes student’s Title IV eligibility

Cannot be used to make changes
Used by school to:
 Document
 Correct
 Perform
Title IV eligibility
or update applicant data
professional judgment (PJ) adjustments,
including dependency overrides

Corrections: Changes to incorrect data

Updates: Changes required for some data items that
change after FAFSA was filed

Adjustments: Changes to applicant data by financial
aid administrator using PJ

Dependency override: Adjustment of student’s status
from dependent to independent by FAA

Adding a school to CPS record is considered a
correction

Student can add schools by:

Using FAFSA on the Web and FSA PIN;

Calling Federal Student Aid Information Center at
1.800.433.3243 and providing Data Release Number
(DRN); or

Submitting correction on paper SAR

Schools can add Federal School Code to CPS
record using FAA Access to CPS
Online and
student’s DRN

Must add its own code no later than 30 days after
school receives SAR on which it is not listed

Students with a FSA PIN can electronically make
and sign corrections

FSA PIN or signature of dependent’s parent required
only if change is made to parental data
Schools may make corrections to application
data using FAA Access to CPS Online if:
 Student
 Schools
identifies necessary changes
identify necessary changes or
corrections through verification process or
resolution of conflicting information

Must collect documentation signed by student and
parent (if dependent) before making corrections

All corrections made are in “real time”

Except adding school codes

Takes about 48 hours to receive correction once it is
made
 Student
 SAR
or parent must follow SAR instructions
must be signed by:

Student

Parent, if dependent

Household size, if selected for verification

Number in college, if selected for
verification

Dependency status, whenever change occurs,
whether or not selected for verification,
except updating not permitted for:

Change in student’s marital status

Previously originated Direct Loan

Made only by financial aid administrator

May be made using FAA Access to CPS Online

Financial aid administrator can perform
dependency overrides on paper FAFSA

Student’s and/or parent’s signature not
required if documentation used as basis of
the adjustment is signed
Student may be considered independent if unusual
circumstances exist

Decision must be made and documented on caseby-case basis

Can override dependency status on initial paper
application or after initial application is filed

Student responds to dependency questions correctly
but completes only student sections of paper FAFSA

FAA performs override by:

Completing “School Use Only” box on
paper FAFSA; or

Using FAA Access to CPS Online


Override performed using FAA Access to CPS
Online
May reverse or cancel override if:


CPS has a transaction on which the student was
processed as dependent for the award year
Dependency override was performed after the
application as a dependent student was submitted

Schools may award Title IV aid using an output
document with dependency override
determination made by previous school within
same award year without collecting
documentation

Practice is optional
Debbie Nelson
LeTourneau University
903-233-4357
[email protected]
Denise Welch
Panola College
903.639.1121
[email protected]

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