Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)
You never know if you could qualify for federal grant funding to pay for college, so always apply. Pursue all institutional scholarships or aid first – even the smallest amount of assistance can make a difference.
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When you submit the FAFSA on the Web, the federal government may select your financial aid application for a process called “verification.” This means the Department of Education requires our office to determine the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA by double-checking some of your answers. If you receive this notification, please complete the following steps in compliance with Federal guidelines.
If all of your verification documents are turned in prior to the priority deadline, the Financial Aid Office guarantees that your classes will be held until we can complete the verification process to finalize your aid. If you turn in any documents after the priority deadline, we can make no such guarantee, and you must make payment arrangements with the Business Office to secure your classes. Once your verification process is completed and you receive a financial aid award, you can use the financial aid funds to pay yourself back for your tuition expenses.
Verification requirements can vary widely from person to person depending on what information the federal government asks us to double-check. Some students merely need to turn in a verification worksheet confirming the number of people in their household or submit a valid government photo ID. In other cases, students may need to submit full tax information for the previous year. All verification requirements will be viewable on your myTC student account once your FAFSA has been received by the college. Any items you need to turn in will show as a red flag under the top-center area of the Financial Aid tab.
Please note that if you are required to submit tax information, the IRS 1040 (A/EZ) form that you submit to the government is not acceptable documentation according to federal financial aid regulations. Instead, you must submit a tax return transcript (which is the version of your tax form the IRS can give back to you once your taxes have been processed) or complete the IRS Data Retrieval.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval?
The IRS Data Retrieval is a feature of FAFSA on the web, which links your FAFSA with your already filed federal tax information through the IRS. You may update your FAFSA by linking to your federal taxes and pulling your tax data directly from the IRS ‘auto-filling” the tax portion of your FAFSA. Taxes submitted electronically require 2-3 weeks before they can be requested. If they were submitted by paper, they will require up to 8 weeks. If you do not wish to complete the IRS Data retrieval and are required for verification, you must contact the IRS to request a copy of student and/or parent’s IRS tax transcript to provide to The Office of Financial Aid (See below, “Requesting an IRS transcript”).
View Instructions for IRS Data Retrieval from the Helpdesk.
Requesting an IRS Transcript
- On the IRS website choose “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records”.
- Select “Get Transcript by MAIL” and follow the prompts.
Alternately, call 1-800-908-9946 to request a transcript or submit a written form using the IRS form 4506T-EZ.
- Enter your information and request a “Return Transcript” for the proper year. Note: Do NOT select “Account Transcript”.
- Once you receive your transcript (within 5 to 10 days), submit it to the Office of Financial Aid for verification.
What if I Cannot Complete the IRS Data Retrieval?
If you cannot complete Step 1 (above), you may request an IRS transcript and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. You must request an IRS transcript if:
- You (or your parent) did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Process either at initial FAFSA filing or through subsequent corrections.
- You changed information after using the IRS Data retrieval process.
- Your tax status is “Married, filing separately.”
- Your parents filed separate tax returns.
- You (or your parent) had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31.
- You (or your parent) filed an amended tax return.
- You filed taxes outside the U.S.
Financial aid regulations assume that the family has primary responsibility for meeting the educational costs of attending college. If you are considered a dependent student, your aid eligibility is determined by using parent income and asset information in addition to your information. Dependent students are required by law to provide parental information and signatures to be considered for financial aid.
A student may be considered independent if he or she:
- will be 24 or older by Dec. 31 of the school year for which financial aid is sought
- since turning age 13, was in foster care, a ward or dependent of the court and/or an orphan (both parents deceased).
- is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
- is married or separated.
- is providing significant financial support to dependents other than a spouse.
- is determined by a court in the state of legal residence as being an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship.
- are deemed to be a homeless unaccompanied youth or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
Federal regulations allow the financial aid office to use professional judgment to change dependency status to “independent” on a case-by-case basis. The student must demonstrate that there is an unusual circumstance other than the fact that the student is self-sufficient or that the parents are unwilling to contribute to the student’s education. If you do not meet any of the above criteria but you believe that you should be considered independent because of truly exceptional circumstances making it inappropriate to expect a parental contribution, you may petition for a waiver of federal regulations requiring parental information. Examples of unusual circumstances are situations such as when a student’s parents cannot be located, or where an otherwise dependent student has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse and is no longer able to reside with his or her parents.
Federal Regulations have identified four conditions that, individually or in combination with one another, do not qualify as “unusual circumstances” and do not merit a dependency override. Those circumstances are:
- Parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education;
- Parents unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification
- Parents not claiming the students as a dependent for income tax purposes
- Student demonstrating total self-sufficiency.
In order to petition for independent status, please submit the Petition for Independent Status Form with supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office.
Learn more from the US Department of Education Financial Aid website.
Selective Service registration is the process by which the U.S. Government collects names and addresses of men age 18 through 25 to use in case of a national emergency. Male U.S. citizens are required to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Once men reach their 26th birthday, they can no longer register. Failure to register may cause men to permanently lose eligibility for student federal financial aid, government employment, job training, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants.
Those required to register with Selective Service are:
- Any male United States citizen who is at least 18 and has not reached his 26th birthday.
- Male non-citizens who take up residency in the U.S. before their 26th birthday
- Dual nationals that fall within the ages of 18 and 26
The Financial Aid Office will ask for documentation when information provided on the student’s FAFSA indicates the student did not register for the Selective Service. This is a federally required item that we must resolve before disbursing federal aid.
Those who are exempt from Selective Service registration are:
- Males currently serving active duty in the military
- Males who are not yet 18 at the time that they complete the FAFSA
- Citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia
- Males born before 1960
- Student was unable to register due to being hospitalized, incarcerated, or institutionalized during the entire time student was age 18 to 26
- Student is enrolled in any officer procurement program at certain universities
- Student is a commissioned public health service officer on active duty
- Non-immigrants visiting the U.S. on a student visit or visas and who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission with their families.
- Non-citizens who first entered the U.S. after turning age 26.
- Non-citizens who entered the U.S. as lawful non-immigrants on a valid visa and remained in the U.S. on the terms of that visa until after they turned 26 (the date of entry on Form 1-94 will be relevant).
You may be required to provide documentation of exemption from Selective Service registration. Documents you may be asked to provide are:
- DD214 showing student served on active duty in the military
- Selective Service card confirming registration
- Online verification of registration
- Letter from Selective Service stating that student is registered or exempt
- I-94 or Passport showing date of entry into the country
- Student Visa Form I-20
- Other documents requested by the Financial Aid Office
Male students not otherwise exempt will be denied financial aid if they failed to register with the Selective Service before their 26h birthday. The Selective Service will register only males ages 18 to 25, leaving older students with no way to remedy their situation if they failed to register. However, the student may still be eligible to appeal the Financial Aid Office and receive aid if he appeals and can demonstrate that he did not knowingly and willfully fail to register.
In order to appeal, the student should obtain a status letter from Selective Service in one of these ways:
- visit the website www.sss.gov OR
- call 847-688-6888 OR
- write to:
- Selective Service System
PO Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638
- Selective Service System
- Submit status letter to the Financial Aid Office for review. Your situation will need to be reviewed to determine if additional documentation is required.
If the status letter from Selective Service states that you WERE NOT required to register, we do not need further documentation.
If the status letter from Selective Service states that you WERE required to register, the student will need to also submit a detailed letter explaining the reason for the failure to register. The student letter should include the following information in the letter:
- You should explain why registration did not occur.
- Were you aware of the requirement to register? If not, why?
- Where you were living and detail what you were doing between the ages of 18 and up to your 26th birthday.
- If you were incarcerated, institutionalized, hospitalized or confined to home, provide type of confinement, dates of confinement and supporting documentation of confinement.
- Were you a United States citizen between the ages of 18 up to 26th birthday? If not, what was your citizenship status and/or when did it change?
If requested from the Financial Aid Office, you must be able to provide additional documentation supporting the information provided in your letter.
Applying for Federal Student Aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) can be completed as early as October 1st of each year for the school year that begins the following August. Applicants must file the FAFSA to apply for federal and state aid. You can submit the application online at www.studentaid.gov/fafsa.
Texarkana College’s FAFSA code is 003628.
Criteria for Receiving Aid
FAFSAs are sent to the Department of Education and evaluated before being received by individual colleges. Please remember that you must list Texarkana College (School Code 003628) as one of the schools you want your FAFSA sent to in order for us to get it.
To be eligible for federal student aid a student must:
- demonstrate financial need (according to the federal government’s evaluation formula)
- have a high school diploma or a G.E.D.
- be enrolled as a degree or certificates seeking student in an eligible program
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- have a valid social security number
- make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree (i.e. make acceptable grades and completion)
- not owe a repayment on a federal or state grant
- not be in default on a federal Student loan
Once your FAFSA reaches TC
Once the FAFSA is received by Texarkana College, we will contact you by email letting you know if any additional paperwork is needed to process your financial aid file. (Current students may also check this information on their myTC student portal by going to the tab labeled “Financial Aid.”) About a third of students are selected by the federal government for a double-check of some of the information listed on their FAFSA application; this process is called “verification.” Students may also be manually selected for verification by Texarkana College if we notice discrepancies in your FAFSA answers. Not all students are required to undergo verification, so please do not submit any paperwork unless we request it.
Once your file is completely processed (including verification, if required), a financial aid award notification will appear in your financial aid account. Once you read and accept the terms and conditions for financial aid, your financial aid award will be finalized, and it can be used to pay your tuition or buy books/supplies in the TC Book Store.
Please note that Texarkana College never automatically includes student loans as part of a financial aid award, but they may be requested. If you think you may need a student loan to finance your education, please contact us at 903-823-3267 or in person at the Texarkana College Financial Aid Office to schedule a loan advising seminar for new borrowers to get full details and to begin the loan application process.