HOW TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID
2015-2016 AWARD YEAR
Tennessee College Of Applied Technology - Knoxville
1100 Liberty Street
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: (865) 766-4002
Fax: (865) 971-4474
SCHOOL CODE: 004025
■ HOW DO I FILE FOR FINANCIAL AID FOR TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY - KNOXVILLE?
Beginning January 2015 you can submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2015-2016 school year. The FAFSA is the application for federal and state student assistance.
■ WHAT IS THE WEBSITE FOR FILLING OUT THE FAFSA?
■ WHAT IS THE SCHOOL CODE FOR TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY - KNOXVILLE?
■ WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR FILLING OUT THE FAFSA?
Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2015. If you need to use your grants to pay tuition, you must complete the FAFSA AT LEAST 2 weeks before the start of the term to allow time for processing.
Pell Grant--The FAFSA must be received by the processor no earlier than January 1st and no later than June 30th of the following year. All required forms must be received by the Financial Aid Office by June 30th or your last day of enrollment, whichever comes first.
Wilder Naifeh Technical Skills Grant -- Students must have a processed FAFSA on or before the following deadline dates to be eligible for the award. Students whose applications are processed after the deadline date may be eligible for the WNTSG for subsequent terms.
- Fall term deadline – November 1st
- Spring term deadline – March 1st
- Summer term deadline – June 1st
Tennessee Student Assistance Award -- Students whose FAFSA is filed and processed on or before February 1st will be given priority in determining awards. Applications processed after
February 1st, 2015, will be considered in the order that they are processed to the extent that funds are available after making awards to students who met the priority deadline.
■ WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET ON MY COMPUTER?
If you do not have a computer, you may file online in the Financial Aid Office at Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville. A Financial Aid Administrator will be available to assist you. Please be sure to call ahead to make an appointment and to bring in all required documents.
■ WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE COMPUTER LAB TO FILE MY FAFSA?
You need to bring or know:
- Your social security number and/or alien registration number and your legal name as it appears on your social security card.
- Your 2014 tax return (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ). You will need to bring your parents’ tax return if you were born before January 1, 1990, unless you are married, have children that live with you that you support financially, are a Veteran, or have ever been in foster care or a ward of the court. (Contact the Financial Aid Office if you are not sure if you need to bring your parents’ information.)
- W-2s for you and your spouse, and parents (see above.)
- Asset information, such as how much money you have in the bank, (your checking and savings), the value of any rental property you own, the amount of funds you have in a money market account, and the value of your stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, etc.
- Your parents’ information if you were born before January 1, 1990, unless you are married, have children that live with you that you support financially, are a Veteran, or have ever been in foster care or a ward of the court. (Contact the Financial Aid Office if you are not sure if you need to bring your parents’ information.)
- If you need your parents’ information on your FAFSA, and they do not have a PIN number, you will need to print a signature page and mail it to the Federal Processor.
■ WHY DO I NEED A FEDERAL PIN AND HOW DO I APPLY FOR IT?
A PIN number is necessary for you (and your parent if you are classified as a dependent FAFSA applicant) to sign the FAFSA online. Having a PIN allows you to access your FAFSA and other information from the U.S. Department of Education. Applying for a PIN is quick and easy. You (and your parent if you are classified a dependent FAFSA applicant) can apply for a PIN before you submit your FAFSA (at www.pin.ed.gov). You can also apply at the time you submit your FAFSA (at www.fafsa.gov).
■ FOR WHAT GRANTS MAY I BE ELIGIBLE?
Pell Grant, Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills “Lottery” Grant, Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville does not participate in any student loan programs.
■ I SUBMITTED THE FAFSA LAST YEAR. WHY DO I HAVE TO APPLY AGAIN THIS YEAR?
Federal regulations require that all students reapply for federal financial aid each year. The primary reason for this is to ensure that your eligibility for assistance is based on the most up-to-date income, asset, and family information.
■ MY PARENTS(s) DID NOT CLAIM ME AS AN EXEMPTION ON THEIR INCOME TAX RETURN. CAN I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID USING ONLY MY INFORMATION?
Maybe. Review the Dependency Status questions of your FAFSA. An answer of “no” to all of these questions means that your parent(s) income and asset data must be entered on your FAFSA. An answer of “yes” to any one of the dependency questions means that your parent(s) data should not be entered.
■ I AM 22 YEARS OLD AND HAVE NOT LIVED WITH PARENTS SINCE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. WHY DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE THEIR INFORMATION ON MY FAFSA?
If you cannot answer yes to at least one of the student Dependency Status questions, the federal regulations require that his/her parent(s) income and asset information be included on the FAFSA.
■ WHAT IF I WANT TO FILE A PAPER FAFSA?
Call 1-877-4ED-PUBS (para espanol, llame al 1-877-433-7827) to obtain a paper FAFSA from the Federal Processor or you can download one at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov. Fill it out and mail it as directed on the FAFSA. DO NOT MAIL THE PAPER FAFSA TO THE SCHOOL.
■ MY PARENTS ARE DIVORCED (OR SEPARATED) AND NEITHER ONE HAS REMARRIED. WHOSE INFORMATION DO I ENTER ON MY FAFSA?
You would enter the information from the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you live equally with each parent, enter the information from the parent who provided more of the financial support from the past 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent.
■ MUST I INCLUDE STEPFATHER’S INCOME AND ASSET INFORMATION ON MY FAFSA? HE AND MY MOTHER JUST GOT MARRIED LAST YEAR.
If you consider your mother (rather than your father) to be the parent you have lived with more during the past 12 months, then both your mother and stepfather's income/asset information must be included on your FAFSA. Your stepfather is defined as your father for purposes of completing your FAFSA, regardless of whether or not he wishes to assist you with your educational and living expenses.
■ BOTH OF MY PARENTS ARE DECEASED AND I HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENT(S) SINCE I WAS A CHILD. THEY EVEN CLAIMED ME AS AN EXEMPTION ON THEIR TAX RETURN. SHOULD I INCLUDE THEIR INCOME/ASSETS ON MY FAFSA?
No, unless they have officially adopted you. If they have, then define them as your parents and include their information on your FAFSA. If they have been your guardians (even court-appointed), then you are defined as an orphan, and only your income/asset data should be entered on your FAFSA.
■ WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILL OUT THE FAFSA?
The federal processor will process your FAFSA and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks. If you provided an email address on the FAFSA, your report will be emailed to you. Your SAR will alert you to any corrections that need to be made. The schools you submitted will receive your information electronically. The Financial Aid Office will determine if additional information is needed or documentation is required, at which time, the staff will notify you what is needed.
■ WILL I NEED TO FILL OUT ADDITIONAL FORMS IN ADDITION TO THE FAFSA TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID?
If you are selected for a process called “verification” or the Financial Aid Office needs additional documentation to complete your file, you may need to fill out additional forms before you can receive any grants. Some forms you may need to fill out include, but are not limited to, are a “verification worksheet”, a “low income” form, or a “school transfer.”
■ WHAT DOES “EFC” MEAN?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined from the income and asset data you entered on your FAFSA. This amount is a reflection of your family's financial strength, an estimate of the amount of money that is expected to be available for spending on higher education expenses.
■ WHAT IS THE IRS “DATA RETRIVAL TOOL”?
Most students and parents who have filed their 2014 IRS tax return will be able to select the IRS Data Retrieval option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to transfer tax information to the FAFSA. We strongly encourage you to select this option during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to your 2015-2016 FAFSA. This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application.
To use successfully this option you must:
- Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
You will be unable to use this option if:
- Your marital status changed after December 31, 2014.
- You filed married filing separately.
- You filed an amended return.
- You filed a foreign tax return.
- You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN).
- The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return.
According to the IRS, this tool cannot be used until approximately 2 weeks after electronically filing a tax return and 6-8 weeks after filing paper tax returns.
How It Works
When either a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. As the federal income tax filer, you will be redirected to a secure IRS website, where you will permit the IRS to transfer income data to the CPS. Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.” It is as simple as that. This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected.
HOW TO REQUEST A TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT FROM THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
If your FAFSA is selected for “verification” and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option OR if you changed the IRS data either after retrieval or in a subsequent correction or update to your FAFSA, you will be required to request a “tax return transcript” (official transcript of your tax return) from the IRS and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
There are three ways to request your tax transcript: by phone, online, or by mail. Please make sure you request a “Tax Return Transcript.” Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.
A tax return transcript can be ordered by phone. Follow the options listed below:
- Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
- Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security Number and the numbers in their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and then enter “2012”
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
A tax return transcript can be ordered online. Follow the options listed below:
- Go to www.irs.gov
- Click Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript located under Tools.
- Click Order a Transcript under Step 3.
- Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code.
- Click Continue.
- Select Return Transcript for Tax Year (i.e., “2014”.)
- Click Continue.
A tax return transcript can be ordered by mail. Follow the options listed below:
- Complete Form 4506-TEZ (Request for Transcript of Tax Return.)
- Form 4506-T is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf.
- Mail or fax the completed IRS Form to the appropriate address (or fax number.) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
- Your transcript(s) should be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.