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Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education is making it easier than ever to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA?

Point Park’s priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 15 for all students — full-time traditional undergraduates, transfer students, graduate students and part-time students — to be considered for need-based financial aid for fall 2018.

The federal government has introduced a tool to transfer IRS return information directly into your FAFSA if you already completed a federal tax return. Or you can use it later to update your FAFSA to reflect final tax return information for both students and parents.

What are the benefits?

The government’s FAFSA office is recommending families use the IRS data retrieval tool for a number of reasons, including:

  • It’s the easiest way to provide tax data.
  • It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
  • You won’t need to provide a copy of tax returns to the University.

If you don’t use the IRS data retrieval tool, you will be required to obtain an official tax return transcript from the IRS.

How does it work?

The FAFSA website makes it easy to use the secure tool. And you can use it as early as three weeks after you file your taxes.

Once you are on the FAFSA site and have entered your FSA ID, you will complete student biographical information, student income information, determination of dependency and parental information, if appropriate. (Some students do not use parental information.) To retrieve parent and/or student tax data, click “link to IRS” when prompted.

  • Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS website.
  • On the IRS website, enter the requested information.
  • Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA from the IRS website. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS website, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
  • If you transfer your IRS tax data, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

If you haven’t completed IRS tax returns before Point Park’s priority deadline, estimate income on your FAFSA and then use the tool later to be sure your FAFSA reflects final tax data. 

Questions? Check out FAFSA help or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). And remember, Point Park’s financial aid professionals are always ready to assist you. Contact us.