Student Financial Services
Baylor > Student Financial Services > Financial Aid > Completing the FAFSA
Completing the FAFSA

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
You should use the IRS Data Retrieval process to update your tax information on your FAFSA if you are eligible. Using the IRS Data Retrieval process will expedite processing and lessen your chance of errors in entering information. Click here for more information regarding the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

You can apply or re-apply for federal, state and Baylor need-based financial aid including federal loans, federal and state grants and need-based Baylor scholarships for the upcoming academic year as soon as possible after January 1 (we recommend prior to March 1), using your (and your parents' if applicable) prior year income tax return at Baylor's school code is 003545.

Please file your FAFSA with accurate data. Ideally you should complete your tax return before you submit the FAFSA for the upcoming year. If you do so, you will be able to complete the tax information requested on the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval process. If you are unable to complete your tax return in time to meet the March 1 priority date, we recommend you submit the FAFSA with estimated tax information. We use the information you provide to calculate your financial aid eligibility for the upcoming academic year.

After you complete the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Federal Processor. Please review your SAR carefully. If you find that an error has been made, you can make changes directly on the FAFSA website at

Most FAFSA data elements cannot be updated (for example: you spent the money you had in savings). Before making such changes, please contact one of our counselors. If you filed your FAFSA using estimated income, please be sure you update your FAFSA once you finalize your tax return and your parent's tax return (if dependent). Also, be sure to update the tax filing status question for yourself and your parent (if dependent).

Dependent Student or Independent Student?

You can only be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes if you can answer yes to at least one of the dependency questions listed on the FAFSA.

Two important facts about dependency status:

  • You may still be considered dependent for financial aid purposes even if you are not listed as a dependent on your parents’ tax return.
  • A parent's or stepparent's unwillingness or inability to contribute to your educational costs is not grounds to file the FAFSA as an independent student.
  • In order to be considered independent based on your child/dependent, you must provide more than half of their support. Please note: providing more than half of your income is not the same as paying more than half of your child/dependent support. We are not able to continue processing your file until we receive this information.

Sometimes there are instances that will allow financial aid professionals to override the dependency status of a student who cannot answer yes to any of the dependency questions.

If you believe your situation warrants a review, please contact our office to speak with a counselor.