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FAFSA Help

 

Before completing FAFSA on the web, complete the Preapplication Worksheet that is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and access the information on applying for financial aid provided by the U.S. Department of Education by clicking the link to the webpage, "Completing the FAFSA: Frequently Asked Questions."

You will need a PIN to sign your FAFSA electronically. If you are providing parents’ information, your parents may also sign your FAFSA with their own PIN. If you do not have a PIN, or if you have forgotten your PIN, your may request your PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. Your parents may also request a PIN at the same web site.

Enter your Social Security Number CORRECTLY

Social Security numbers reported to Social Security Administration that do not match will cause a rejected application and you will have to start a new FAFSA with the correct social security number.

Have your information sent to New Mexico Highlands University 

The School Code is 002653.

Keep copies of your FAFSA application and all documents you submit to Highlands

It is important that you keep copies of the FAFSA in case you are asked to verify the information you provided.

Respond immediately to all additional document requests from Highlands' Office of Financial Aid

Include your name, social security number, and email address on all documents you submit to our office.

Complete the Housing Plans section of Step Six on the FAFSA

If you leave Housing Plans blank, your financial aid may be delayed, and you might not receive all the aid for which you are eligible.

Notify the Financial Aid Office immediately

if you receive any type of financial assistance to attend Highlands other than the amounts reflected on your financial aid award letter. Examples are tuition remission, scholarships, AmeriCorps grants, Dependent Education awards, WIA, tribal aid, graduate and teaching assistantships, fellowships, etc. These types of assistance affect your eligibility for need based financial aid. Unreported assistance could result in an over award of financial aid, which you will be required to repay immediately! Don’t put yourself in this predicament.

Student’s Citizenship Status and Alien Registration Number

Generally, you are an eligible non citizen if you are: (1) a U.S. permanent resident and you have an Alien Registration Receipt card (I-551); (2) a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or (3) a non citizen with an Arrival Department Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing any of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant." If you are not sure how to answer, FAFSA on the web(www.fafsa.ed.gov/help.htm) provides additional information to help you answer these questions.

Student’s Drug Conviction effecting eligibility

If you have a conviction for possessing or selling illegal drugs, go to the FAFSA website. The worksheet will walk you through a series of questions to help you figure out if your conviction affects your eligibility.

Was student eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ? 

In general, a person is eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ if he or she makes less than $50,000, does not itemize deductions, doesn’t receive income from his or her business/farm, does not receive alimony, and is not required to file Schedule D for capital gains. If you filed a 1040 only to claim Hope and Lifetime Learning credits, and you would have otherwise been eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ, you should answer "Yes."

Are you, the student, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? 

Answer "No" (you are not a veteran) if you (1) have never engaged in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, (2) are currently an ROTC student or cadet or midshipman at a service academy, or (3) are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee activated only for training. Also answer "No" if you are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and will continue to serve through June 30. Answer "Yes" (you are a veteran) if you (s) have engaged in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) or as a member of the National Guard or Reserves who was called to active duty for purposes other than training, or were a cadet or midshipmen at one of the service academies, and (2) were released under a condition other than dishonorable. Also answer "Yes" if you are not a veteran now, but will be one by June 30.

Student’s household size

Include in your household: (1) yourself (and your spouse, if you have one), and (2) your children if you will provide more than half of their support for the academic year July 1, through June 30, and (3) other people if they now live with you, and you provide more than half of their support, and you will continue to provide more than half of their support for the academic year in which you are applying for aid (July 1 through June 30).

Who is considered a parent? 

If your parents are both living and married to each other, answer the questions about them. If your parent is widowed or single, answer the questions about that parent. If your widowed parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions about that parent and the person to whom your parent is married (your stepparent).

New for 2014-15: In keeping with the Supreme Court decision ruling Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, follow these instructions when filling out the FAFSA.

For all FAFSA questions related to marital status, applicants who are married or the married parents of dependent applicants must respond as married without regard to whether the marriage is between individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. This applies if the applicant and applicant’s spouse, or the applicant’s parents, were legally married in any state or jurisdiction (including a foreign country), without regard to where the couple resides or where the student will be attending college.

If your parents are divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent you lived with during the past 12 months (if you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from that parent). If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions on the rest of the FAFSA about that parent and the person to whom your parent is married (your stepparent).

Were your parents eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ? In general, a person is eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ if he or she makes less than $50,000, does not itemize deductions, doesn’t receive income from his or her business/farm, does not receive alimony, and is not required to file Schedule D for capital gains. If your parents filed a 1040 only to claim Hope and Lifetime Learning credits, and would have otherwise been eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ, they should answer "Yes" to this question.

Parents’ household size: Include in your parents’ household: (1) your parents and yourself, even if you don’t live with your parents, and (2) your parents’ other children if (a) your parents will provide more than half of their support from July 1 through June 30 of the academic year for which you are applying for aid or (b) the children could answer "No" to all of the dependency questions listed on the FAFSA, and (3) other people if they live with your parents, and your parents provide more than half of their support, and your parents will continue to provide more than half of their support from July 1 through June 30 of the academic year for which you are applying for aid.

Change in family circumstances

If any of the following circumstances apply to you/your family, check with the Financial Aid Office to see if this might affect your financial aid eligibility:

  • last year's income will be lower than the income from the year before
  • academic year income will be lower than the income from the year before
  • unusual debts (not credit card debts)
  • unusually high medical/dental expenses
  • paying tuition/fees for private elementary/secondary education
  • paying adult day care expenses

Verification

The Central Processing Servicer for the Federal Department of Education will randomly choose a number of FAFSA applications to verify the stated information. This process is similar to a random audit by the IRS in which you must provide evidence to justify the figures included in your tax form. For instance, with the FAFSA, you may need to provide copies of tax forms to verify income figures or provide information to verify the number in your family or the number of family members in college.

If you are selected for verification, we will notify you and tell you exactly what documents and information we need from you and your family in order to complete verification. For instance, you may have accidentally put in an incorrect figure or statement in the FAFSA form that is inconsistent with other information on your verification forms. Once you correct this error and provide verifying documents, the Financial Aid Office will submit your application forms to the Central Processor for corrections. We will not award any funds until the verification process is completed and reviewed by our staff.

Verifying data is required by regulations governing federal and state financial aid. Your responsibility is to provide the requested evidence promptly so that your file can be processed and funding will not be delayed.

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