How to Apply for Financial Aid
File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov as early as October 1 prior to the academic year in which you plan to enroll. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2017, you can submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2016 using income tax information from your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.
- Stevenson University's school code is 002107. If you previously attended another college or university, remember to update your school code.
FAFSA Filing Deadlines
- Complete the FAFSA between October 1 and February 15 to maximize your chances of consideration of funds from all sources. If you miss the February 15th priority deadline, still apply for available funds.
- Transfer Students: Transfer applicants for fall enrollment should file the FAFSA by February 15th. Spring transfer applicants should file by October 15th.
- FAFSA applications are processed on a rolling basis; however, you must allow five to six weeks after your FAFSA has been completed to receive any aid for which you are eligible.
- If you file after the priority deadline, some types of aid may no longer be available to you, but we will process financial aid awards through the start of the semester and offer you any aid for which you are eligible.
IRS Data Retrieval Process
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA. Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.
Please note that although most people can use IRS Data Retrieval you may not be able to access IRS Data Retrieval tool if one of the following occur:
- Tax filing status is Married Filing Separately or Head of Household
- You filed an amended return
- You filed a Puerto Rico or foreign tax return
- You recently filed your tax return
If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It's the easiest way to provide your 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 your or your parents' tax returns to your college.
If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and your college requests a copy of your tax document or your parents' tax document, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.
- If you file electronically you have access to the IRS data retrieval approximately 2 weeks after filing.
- Paper filers will have access to the IRS data retrieval 6 to 8 weeks after filing.
Students and parents are encouraged to file taxes early; however, we know that many will not have their federal tax returns completed by the priority application deadline. You should use "estimated income" information on the initial FAFSA. Then you will be able to use the data retrieval process approximately 2 weeks after electronically filing or 6-8 weeks after paper filing.
After completing the federal tax return and waiting the appropriate amount of time, go to "Make FAFSA Corrections" on the FAFSA website fafsa.gov to transfer tax data using the IRS data retrieval process. You will need to use your FSA ID to log into the web site.
How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
You must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool. If you choose to do so, you will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site.
- Applicants will need to authenticate their identity before any person information is displayed. Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to "Transfer" the tax information to the FAFSA.
- Your tax information for the prior-prior year will be used beginning for the 2017-2018 FAFSA. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2017, you can submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2016 using income tax information from your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.
- Applicants can also choose NOT to transfer the data to the FAFSA; however, you may be at higher risk of being selected for verification.
What is verification and what do I need to do if selected?
Your FAFSA may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. According to the federal government, this means we must make sure the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate. If selected, we will ask for specific information to support or clarify your application. Submit your information promptly to avoid delay of your financial aid award. Please do not send us income documents unless we request you to do so.
- If you choose not to complete the data retrieval or if you make changes to the items transferred, you will then need to request a Tax Transcript from the IRS. Requests can be made online at www.irs.gov, by phone 1-800-908-9946 or by completing 4506 T-EZ. IRS processing time will depend on how you filed taxes and by which method you request the IRS Tax Transcript.
Failure to complete the IRS data retrieval process may result in your having to request the IRS Tax Transcript which will delay your finalized financial aid award. You may request the tax transcript online here.
Complete the Verification Process (If Selected)
Your FAFSA may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. According to the federal government, this means we must make sure the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate. If selected, we will mail you a letter asking for specific information to support or clarify your application. Submit your information promptly to avoid delay of your financial aid award. Please do not send us income documents unless we request you to do so. If you are asked to complete any special forms the forms can be found on this website at the Forms Page.