University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Application Process

How do I apply for financial aid?
In order to receive financial aid, you must first apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - commonly called the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be completed any time after January 1 of each year. In fact, we encourage you to apply as early as possible to avoid missing Pitt-Johnstown's priority filing deadline of April 1st for each academic year.  Financial aid applications received after the deadline will be processed on a rolling basis.

If you or your parents have not completed your Federal Income Tax Return prior to completing the FAFSA, you may use estimated income information to ensure that your information is received by the Federal Processor before Pitt-Johnstown's April 1st priority filing deadline. Once you have completed your Federal Income Tax Return, you can update the estimated income information reported on your FAFSA to reflect the income information that was reported to the IRS.

You must complete the FAFSA each year that you wish to apply for any financial aid, including Stafford and PLUS loans.

Be sure to keep copies of your FAFSA.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
Students and parents who have filed their 2012 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 2013-2014 FAFSA.  This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application.

To successfully use 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, 2012.
   •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.

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’s as simple as that.  This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected.

This IRS Data Retrieval tutorial will help you understand and use the "IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL" ("DRT") that is available on the 2013-2014 FAFSA website. 

Where can I get a copy of the FAFSA?
You can request a paper form from the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID or obtain a submittable FAFSA in portable document format (PDF, in color or black and white), which you can get here. You can print the PDF and fill it out by hand, or you can type your data on the PDF before printing.

Additionally, students may complete the FAFSA through the Internet by accessing the application at www.fafsa.gov.  Renewal applicants are encouraged to complete the renewal application online.  By completing the renewal application, you will save yourself some time, as you will need to update only the income information.

What can I expect after filing the FAFSA?
Approximately seven to ten business days after completing the FAFSA online (6 weeks if you complete the FAFSA by mail), you will receive notification back in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). SARs are important for two reasons. First, the SAR can be used by the parents and student/or spouse to confirm that the information they provided on the original FAFSA form is correct. If there is any information that is incorrect on the SAR then you can use it to make corrections. Second, the SAR gives you notice of what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be for the academic year. This is the only official notification that you will receive regarding the EFC.

What is the EFC?
The EFC can be found in the upper right hand comer on the first page of the Student Aid Report. The EFC does not reflect what you and your family will have to pay out-of-pocket for your college expenses, nor does it reflect what your family can afford to pay out-of-pocket; the EFC is important because this number is used by the school, the state grant agency and the federal government to determine the types and amounts of financial aid that you will receive.

Last Reviewed: April 17, 2008