You will need a FSA ID to sign your FAFSA electronically. If you are providing parents’ information, your parents may also sign your FAFSA with their own FSA ID. If you do not have a FSA ID, or if you have forgotten your FSA ID, you may request your FSA ID at http://fsaid.ed.gov. Your parents may also request a FSA ID 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. The student should be careful when entering her SSN. Although it can be corrected after the FAFSA is processed, the number originally entered will always be used as her ID, and it is likely to cause confusion and extra work for the financial aid administrator if it doesn’t match the student’s SSN. While not required, the student can solve the confusion by filing a new original FAFSA using the correct SSN.

Have your information sent to New Mexico Highlands University

The NMHU School Code is 002653.

  1. Keep copies of your FAFSA application and all documents you submit to Highlands
  2. It is important that you keep copies of the FAFSA in case you are asked to verify the information you provided.
  3. Respond immediately to all additional document requests from New Mexico Highlands University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  4. Include your name, Banner/Student ID Number, and email address on all documents you submit to our office.

Complete the Housing Plans 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. This will determine your budget assignment (cost of attendance).

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, external scholarships, tribal 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 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.

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

Veterans and persons on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) for purposes other than training are independent. Veterans are those who were in active service and were released under a condition other than “dishonorable.” This includes those who fraudulently entered the service, as long as their entire period of service was not voided. There is no minimum amount of time the student has to have served to be a veteran—even one day counts and even basic training (boot camp) counts—but it does have to be active service. (See below for the rules for reservists.) This is less stringent than the VA’s definition of a veteran for receiving certain VA benefits.

The application also tells students to answer “Yes” to the question about veteran status if they aren’t yet a veteran but will be by June 30, 2017. Students who attended a U.S. service academy or preparatory school for at least one day and were released under conditions other than “dishonorable” count as veterans for Title IV purposes. Students serving in ROTC or currently attending a U.S. military academy are not veterans. Members of the National Guard or Reserves are only considered veterans if they were called up to active federal duty by presidential order for a purpose other than training. It does not matter how long the active duty lasted or if the student returned to reserve status afterward, but, as with the other qualifying veterans, the student must have had a character of service that was not “dishonorable.”

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).

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).

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:

  1. last year’s income will be lower than the income from the year before
  2. academic year income will be lower than the income from the year before
  3. unusual debts (not credit card debts)
  4. unusually high medical/dental expenses
  5. paying tuition/fees for private elementary/secondary education
  6. paying child or adult day care expenses

Any of these circumstances may affect your eligibility, if properly documented, a professional judgment could be warranted. Please complete a professional judgement appeal form (can be found in on-line documents under financial aid), follow all instructions and attach all appropriate documentation. If your FAFSA was not originally selected for verification, you will be required to complete the verification process before your professional judgement appeal will be considered. For a projected year income adjustment, we require that you provide your tax transcript for the year that the income will be updated to, for example, if you are requesting an adjustment for 2020-21; we will require a copy of your 2018 and 2019 federal tax transcript. In the event that the adjustment does increase your eligibility for aid, that aid will be retro-actively applied to your student account.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows students and parents who are using FAFSA on the Web and who have already submitted their federal tax return to electronically retrieve their tax data from the IRS database. The Institutional Student Information Record(ISIR) will show that data were imported and if it was altered. All students and parents of dependent students who indicate on the application that they have already filed a federal tax return and who are otherwise eligible to use the DRT will be directed to do so. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to make use of the DRT (though it is voluntary) because it is accurate, efficient, and useful for verification and corrections; see the relevant chapters in this guide.


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.

Financial Aid Homepage