Are there important deadline dates I need to know?

Yes, here are some important dates to remember for the upcoming 2022-2023 financial aid cycle and year end 2021-2022 financial aid cycle:

  • June 30, 2022: The last day to apply for financial aid assistance for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • August 22, 2022: First day of fall semester classes for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • October 2022: The FAFSA for the 2023-2024 award year becomes available online at https://www.studentaid.gov.
  • December 1, 2022: Priority deadline for completing the FAFSA for 2023-2024 to qualify for Federal Work Study (FWS) and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

What is the first step in applying for financial aid?

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is completed online at: www.studentaid.gov. Applications are signed with an FSA ID that can be requested at: www.fsaid.gov. We recommend students request the FSA ID prior to completing the FAFSA. A dependent student’s parent must also receive an FSA ID.

What information is required to complete the FAFSA?

In addition to self-identifying data the FAFSA will require information regarding you and your parents, if dependent, 2020 federal tax returns for the 2022-2023 academic year. Follow the directions on the FAFSA application carefully and report only the data requested. The FAFSA will allow tax filers to obtain the required tax information from the IRS directly through a process called IRS Data Retrieval Tool. For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval tool please visit https://studentaid.gov/help/how-use-irs-drt

FMU’s school code for FAFSA is: 001486.

What is prior/prior year income and how does it affect my FAFSA?

As of October 2021, students can file a FAFSA for the 2022-2023 award year using income from the 2020 federal tax return. This is prior/prior year income. The purpose is to make completing the FAFSA easier as nearly all tax filers will have completed prior/prior year taxes by October. In addition, almost everyone will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax information directly to the FAFSA.

Do I have to be a high school graduate or have my GED to receive financial aid?

Yes, an eligible applicant must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate or been homeschooled and graduated in accordance with state guidelines. When completing the FAFSA the student will be asked the name of the high school, city, and state as well as the high school code which can be retrieved online. Failure to report this data will result in the student being required to document graduation through an official high school transcript. Students with a GED are required to verify this to the Admissions office with a copy of their GED test scores. Home schooled students must provide a copy of the districts release to the parents to home school their student and a transcript created by the home schoolteacher that includes a graduation date.

Why do I have to give my parents' information on the FAFSA?

The U S Congress establishes the criteria for determining whose income and assets should be used in determining financial aid eligibility. The premise is that financing a higher education is a partnership between the family, the student, and the college. The purpose of financial aid is to bridge the gap between what the family can pay and the cost of a higher education. There is a series of questions within the FAFSA that will determine whose information must be reported in addition to the student’s information. Please be sure to follow the instructions carefully. If you need assistance or clarification, please reach out to our financial aid office.

If my parents do not claim me on their tax return, am I independent for financial aid?

No, being claimed on a tax return is not a determining factor for dependent status. The FAFSA does not ask if you were claimed by someone as an exemption.

I am thinking about getting married; should I wait to file the FAFSA until after I am married?

Marital status is “as of today” – the day the application is signed. Marital status cannot be projected. It is often better to wait and file the FAFSA after getting married, but you should consult with a financial aid advisor to determine what is best for you.

Who does and does not count as my parent on the FAFSA?

Biological Parent: A parent is a biological or adoptive parent or a person that the state has determined to be a parent (for example, when a state allows another person’s name to be listed as a parent on a birth certificate). Biological and adoptive (whether of the opposite or same sex) parents who are unmarried and living together give that as their status in Question 59, and both report their information on the FAFSA.

Stepparent: A stepparent is treated like a biological parent if the stepparent has legally adopted the student or if the stepparent is married, as of the date of application, to a student’s biological or adoptive parent whose information will be reported on the FAFSA. There are no exceptions. A prenuptial agreement does not exempt the stepparent from providing information required of a parent on the FAFSA.

Divorce of the student’s parents: If the student’s parents are divorced, he should report the information of the parent with whom he lived longer during the 12 months prior to the date he completes the application, regardless of which parent claimed him as an exemption for tax purposes. If the student lived equally with each parent or did not live with either one, then he should provide the information for the parent from whom he received more financial support or the one from whom he received more support the last calendar year for which it was given. Note that it is not typical that a student will live with or receive support from both parents exactly equally. Usually, it is determined that the student lived with one of the parents more than half the year or that he received more than half support from one of the parents.

Separation of the student’s parents or the student and spouse: A couple need not be legally separated to be considered separated – they may deem themselves informally separated when one of the partners has left the household for an indefinite period and the marriage is severed. While a married couple that lives together cannot be informally separated, in some states they can be legally separated. If their state allows this, and if they are still living together and are legally separated, then that is their status on the FAFSA. For a dependent student, use the rules for divorce to determine which parent’s information to report.

Common-law marriage: If a couple lives together and has not been formally married but meets the criteria in their state for a common-law marriage, they should be reported as married on the FAFSA. If the state does not consider their situation to be a common-law marriage, then they are not married; a dependent student would follow the rules for divorce to determine which parent’s information to report. Check with the appropriate state agency concerning the definition of a common-law marriage.

What does it mean to be in legal guardianship?

Students are independent if they are, or were upon reaching the age of majority, emancipated minors (released from control of their parent or guardian) or in legal guardianship, both as adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction in the state of the student’s legal residence at the time of the adjudication.

Many students have an agreement between families regarding guardianship. This is not legal guardianship. In some instances, grandparents have taken the student because the parents were unable to care for the student. Unless a court has granted legal guardianship, the student cannot mark this as yes on the FAFSA.

What does it mean to be homeless or at risk of being homeless?

A student is independent for financial aid purposes if at any time on or after July 1,2021 (irrespective of whether he is currently homeless or at risk thereof), the student is determined to be an unaccompanied homeless youth by a school district McKinney-Vento Act homeless liaison (first year of post-secondary education only) or the director (or designee) of an emergency shelter program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The director (or designee) of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program can determine this as well, plus whether a student is independent because he is an unaccompanied youth who is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. These authorities make this determination if the student is receiving their programs’ services or if, in the case of a school district homeless liaison, the student is in high school and graduated in 2021.

How long does the FAFSA take to go through the system?

If everything is correct, it takes 5 to 7 days for the Federal Processor to process a FAFSA. Once FMU receives the FAFSA results, we will review your information and request any additional documents as needed. If no additional documentation is required, we estimate a processing time of at least 10 business days before and an award letter is issued. This may take up to two weeks from the time the FAFSA was completed. Please note: There are several edit checks that could result in the rejection of a FAFSA. Students should check the status of their FAFSA online at: http://www.studentaid.gov/ for comments from the Federal Processor.

Why do I have to do verification?

The FAFSA Central Processor randomly selects financial aid applicants to be verified. If your application is selected for verification, you will be required to submit federal tax documents and complete a verification worksheet. Florida Memorial University has partnered with KHEAA Verify to oversee all verification requirements. Students will receive an email from KHEAA and instructions for creating an account and signing into the KHEAA Verify portal.

What do I do if I do not remember my FSA ID username or password?

If you have forgotten your username or password, do not worry. On http://www.studentaid.gov/ log-in page, you will find links that give you the option of retrieving your username or password through your verified e-mail address or by successfully answering your challenge questions. If all else fails, call: 1-800-433-3243 for assistance.

Do I have to renew my FAFSA every year?

Yes, but you can choose the FAFSA renewal process which takes much less time to complete.

What does my EFC mean and how is it calculated?

The EFC stands for “Expected Family Contribution.” The EFC is a result of the FAFSA information submitted to the Federal Processor. There are several EFC formulas established by the U.S. Congress that determine a family’s financial contribution. The EFC is not calculated by the Financial Aid Office. Your Pell Grant award is determined by your EFC. Your EFC can range from 0-99,999 (0= provides the largest Pell Grant). The maximum federal Pell Grant for the 2022-2023 academic year is $6,895 which is split between the Fall and Spring semesters.

How does the financial aid office use my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The EFC has two purposes. The first is to determine eligibility for a Pell Grant. The second purpose is to determine if the student is eligible for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Federal Work Study (FWS), EASE and FSAG (for Florida residents only), as well as other need-based scholarships and grants. The formula is the student’s cost of attendance (COA) budget minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals need (COA-EFC=Need).

Do I have to declare a degree and/or major to receive a Pell Grant?

Yes, to receive financial aid a student must be accepted as a regular student at FMU and declare a degree program. Students will only be paid for the courses required to complete their declared degree.

What does "census date" mean in terms of financial aid?

The census date is the point in a semester after which Pell Grants will no longer be adjusted up or down based on changes in enrollment. Currently, FMU has established the census date as the “last day to withdraw without record and receive a refund” as published in the academic calendar.

Do I have to maintain a certain grade point average and complete a certain number of courses to keep my financial aid award?

Yes, in general a student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and complete 67% of the course work attempted. In addition, a student is allowed 150%-time frame to complete a degree program which is 120 credit hours for bachelor’s degrees. It is important to know the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in its entirety.

If I withdraw from a class, do I have to repay my financial aid?

In some cases. If a student withdraws from a class during add/drop period financial aid will be adjusted based on the current enrollment.

After add/drop period or the census date, if a student withdraws from one or more classes but not all courses, no repayment is required. However, the student might not comply with Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards requirements which could result in a warning or suspension status for future financial aid.

If a student withdraws from all courses the financial aid office will calculate what is called a Return to Title IV Funds and the student may be required to repay some of the financial aid received.

How will my tuition and fees get paid if I receive financial aid?

If students are receiving financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will send a financial aid file to the Student Accounts department notifying them of all financial aid amounts awarded to the student for the semester.

If you apply for financial aid late, you should be prepared to make payment arrangements with the Student Accounts department until your financial aid is processed and finalized or risk having your registration cancelled and incurring late fees.

What happens to the rest of the money after tuition, fees and, if on campus, board and room are paid?

If after tuition, fees, and if on campus, board and room are paid, and an eligible credit balance remains, it will be paid to the student via their selected refund preference with the Student Accounts department. Florida Memorial University does not issue refunds of institutional scholarships and grants.