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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 financial aid including loans, grants and need-based Baylor scholarships for the upcoming academic year as soon as possible beginning October 1, at www.fafsa.gov. Baylor's school code is 003545.

Please file your FAFSA with accurate data. Ideally you should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, complete your FAFSA with actual tax return data that you filed with the IRS. 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 www.fafsa.gov.

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.

Remember to sign your FAFSA every time you make a change. If you are a dependent student, you and your parent must re-sign each time you change your FAFSA. The number one delay in the FAFSA process is a failure by you and/or your parent to sign or re-sign the FAFSA.

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.

Three 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 for the academic year 2016-2017 or 2017-2018.

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.