Estimating federal tax information on FAFSA
Updating FAFSA with actual tax information
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
You must complete this application for each academic year to determine your eligibility to participate in federal, state, and institutional grant and loan programs. The FAFSA is available beginning January 1 preceding the academic year. An academic year generally consists of a fall, spring and summer term. Schools must define whether summer begins or ends an academic year for financial aid purposes. NIU has defined the academic year to begin with fall and end with summer. The 2014 -2015 FAFSA is for the Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 academic year. The 2015 -2016 FAFSA is for the Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Summer 2016 academic year.
When is the best time to file the 2015-2016 FAFSA for students who receive or hope to receive the MAP grant?
Now! MAP grant eligible students should plan to file the FAFSA as early as possible in January or early February. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) uses a “first-come, first-served” methodology, based on the FAFSA processing date, to allocate limited funds. Once the state-wide application volume reaches the estimated number of students that can be funded, ISAC suspends all future applications.
- For 2014-2015, ISAC has suspended MAP awards for all students with an original FAFSA processing date greater then February 27, 2014.
- For 2015-2016 ISAC has suspended MAP awards for all student with an original FAFSA processing date greater then February 21, 2015.
It is advisable to complete the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The second best option is to use information from a completed tax return. If the student or parent tax return cannot be completed in time to ensure meeting the MAP deadline, you can use estimated tax information.
Even though you will have to update the tax information later, the original FAFSA processing date is always used for the MAP deadline. See FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool and How to Estimate Taxes .
I am not eligible for MAP grant, when should I plan to file the 2015-2016 FAFSA?
- Complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA as soon after January 1, 2015 as possible.
- Students whose financial resources put them out of the range to receive the MAP grant would be best served to complete their federal tax returns before filing the FAFSA.
- MAP Calculator: http://www.isac.org/calculators/
What are the best practices for reporting tax information on FAFSA?
What are some of the common application errors to avoid?
How do I apply for the MAP grant?
Is there any way to know if I may be eligible for MAP Grant?
Why does the MAP Grant deadline get earlier and earlier?
For the past several years the deadline to file the FAFSA for MAP Grant consideration has been earlier each subsequent year due to limited funding availability, increasing numbers of applicants, and ISAC’s need to suspend awarding to stay within their level of funding for the year.
What was last year’s MAP Grant deadline date?
February 27, 2014. FAFSA applications submitted after this date were placed in a suspense status and will not have MAP awarded unless additional funding becomes available. The funding cutoff date is dependent on application volume and could be even earlier this year.
What is the MAP deadline date for 2015-2016?
February 21, 2015. FAFSA applications submitted after this date were placed in a suspense status and will not have MAP awarded unless additional funding becomes available. The funding cutoff date is dependent on application volume and could be even earlier this year.
FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool