In this module we will talk about the third step, that is How to complete the FAFSA. The first section of the step 3 is based on the Student Demographic Information.
Let us take a look at the image for a better picture-
1.Name of the applicant
The first tab will ask you to write the student's name, and the name should exactly match the name present in the Social Security card. Carefully mention your first, middle and last name.
Most students confuse themselves and ask- My name is changed. What do I do?
In case your name is changed, for any of the reasons like- marriage, divorce, or a legal name change, then the student is required to submit form SS-05, Application for a Social Security card, to change his/her name.
2.Social Security Number (SSN) of the applicant
The parents and the student must take care that the correct number is reported, and common mistakes like Transposing two digits in the Social Security Number (SSN) or entering the social security number of the student’s sibling etc. should be avoided.
In case, if the student has a social security number, but any one or both of the parents don’t have the social security number for the reason that they are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, the student will still be eligible for the federal student aid. The student can use his own social security number to complete the FAFSA, and enter 000-00-0000 in place of parent’s Social Security Number.
3.Student’s Mailing Address
The next tab will ask you about the permanent mailing address.
- The address that is utilized by the student on tax returns and voter registration cards must be mentioned.
- For homeless students, and families who reside in transitional housing situations, the given address can be used to receive postal mail.
- You are required to take the help of the financial aid advisor in case you don’t possess a permanent mailing address
- If you exist outside the United States, use 00000 as the zip code.
4.Legal residence of a student
The FAFSA will inquire about your state of legal residence, which is usually your permanent address. Avoid using the address of your campus.
Students will also need to mention the date when he/ she became a legal resident. He or she will also have to mention the duration, that is either 5 years or less.
Generally, if a student is a legal resident for more than 5 years he/she is considered as US citizens or eligible noncitizens qualified to be residents of that particular state.
Your permanent contact number can be your cell or landline number as long as it stays the same for a longer duration, so that the financial aid officer can reach you whenever required.
You should avoid using voice mail, forwarded numbers or the school's telephone number.
6.Student’s Email ID
Your email id is very important as the universities or The U.S Department of Education will need it to send financial aid reminders, status updates and the application results. Make sure that the email address provided by you, remains active throughout the financial aid application period and the college admission,
7.What is your marital status?
During the FAFSA submission, your marital status will be asked. If a student is married, then he/she will be asked about his/her spouse, and he/she will be required to combine the income tax and asset information of the spouse along with his/her information.
In case the student is unmarried, widowed, divorced or separated and maintains a single’s status, the FAFSA will no longer ask questions relating to a student's spouse.
Remember- The questions associated to your marital status play a substantial role in shaping your financial aid, and you don’t have to throw a legal separation to be studied as single for the federal aid purpose. An informal separation shall help you, provided that you no longer live with your spouse.
However, if you live on separate floors in the same building having the same postal code, then you are not regarded as separated for the federal aid purposes.
You are required to report your marital status on the day of your FAFSA submission, and you are not permitted to name changes even if you anticipate a divorce or separation any time soon.
Similarly, if you are getting married after 10 days from your FAFSA submission date, you are required to report your current status, that is unmarried.
8.Optional Prerequisite (The Driving License Number)
The driver’s license is not a compulsory prerequisite for financial assistance. So, if you have a driver’s license- you can enter the number, but if you don’t have it- you can leave it blank.
Make certain that you don’t list the conditional use permit number or the State ID Card number. The driver’s license is meant for identity verification purpose only.
Other lessons on FAFSA