The Application Process
- Complete the FAFSA. This may be done electronically at Fafsa webpage or you may complete a paper FAFSA. An important deadline to remember for the FAFSA is March 15th. This is the date your FAFSA must be submitted to be eligible for the State Grant. Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st each year that you plan on attending college.
- Choose the electronic method of completing the FAFSA to get the quickest results. Financial Aid staff and Student Support Services staff are available to assist you with the online FAFSA application.
- Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) as instructed on the FAFSA website to sign your online FAFSA application. Keep your PIN in a retrievable place such as in your wallet, folder on your email account, or in a file folder at home.
- Click the “Submit my FAFSA Now” button on the last page of the online FAFSA form. After submitting your application, you will be taken to a new page confirming your submission and giving you a confirmation number. Make a copy of the FAFSA before submitting it to the Federal Processor. Do not mail tax returns to the Federal Processor.
- The federal processor determines your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) based on the information you provided on the FAFSA. This number (EFC) indicates eligibility for federal aid.
- If you completed the online FAFSA and provided an email address, you will be sent an email regarding the status of your FAFSA or if you did not provide an email address the federal processor prints and sends you a Student Aid Report (SAR).
- Review the SAR for accuracy. If correct, no action is required. If incorrect, contact the Financial Aid Officer for assistance in making the correction or go to the FAFSA website and submit your correction(s) there. The federal processor will electronically transmit your FAFSA results to TMCC if you entered our school code (009450) on your application.
- Follow-up letters will be sent to new and returning students in June. Followup letters list the documents already received and those still needed to complete the student’s financial aid file. The followup letter will also inform if there is a problem with information on the SAR.
- Award letters (three copy form, white, yellow and pink) will be sent to students who have complete financial aid files. Sign all three copies, return the white and yellow copies and keep the pink copy for your record. The Award Letter lists the costs of attendance and the source and amount of aid you are eligible to receive.
- Continue to check your mail for additional forms or possible changes in your financial aid.
Financial Aid Calculator
A new helpful tool link has been added to the FAFSA website this year to assist individuals in finding out if they are eligible for federal student aid. This tool can be accessed at fafsa4caster website. This site asks the individual to provide most of the same information as the FAFSA application but does not send the information for processing. It is used solely for the purpose of allowing an individual to learn if they are eligible for federal student aid.
What you need to complete the FAFSA
- Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- Social Security Number
- Drivers license number, if applicable
- Previous year W-2 Forms
- Previous year Federal Income Tax Return
- Records of stocks, bonds and other investments
- Business or farm records
- Records of other un-taxed income received such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance Benefits, or veterans benefits
- Child support received
- Alien registration number, if you are not a U. S. citizen
- If you are a dependent student, parents' social security numbers, tax information or financial records are needed
How is my eligibility for federal financial aid determined?
Income, assets and family information are collected on the FAFSA and used in a formula to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC). Your EFC is subtracted from an estimated cost of attendance to determine your amount of financial need. The EFC is the amount you and your parents/spouse are expected to contribute toward your education.
When will I receive an Award Letter?
You will receive an award letter when the Financial Aid Office has all the required documents to complete your file and you are determined eligible for federal aid or other funding sources. Circumstances that would prevent you from receiving an Award Letter include (but not limited to): incomplete admission to TMCC, incorrect address on file, financial aid suspension, or no remaining federal aid eligibility left (reached Maximum Time Frame).
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Helpful Hints for Completing the FAFSA
- Apply for a PIN. To sign the online FAFSA, the student and parent need a Department of Education PIN. If you don’t have one, apply at www.pin.ed.gov to get one. Your PIN is e-mailed within 1-5 days , or mailed within 7-10 days. Your PIN is confidential and is your responsibility to remember and not the college. The PIN remains the same 4 digit number and is used each academic year you attend college to sign your FAFSA or conduct online business with the US Department of Education.
- Use the Pre-Application Worksheet. The Pre-Application Worksheet can be used to collect all your information to transfer onto the online FAFSA.
- Save your FAFSA application often. Use the “SAVE” button at the bottom of the screen. If you lose your internet connection, you can return to the FAFSA to continue completing the saved FAFSA. If you click the “EXIT” button you will erase all the information you’ve entered since the last time you saved it.
- Get Help. There is plenty of Free help available. You don’t have to pay to get assistance filling out the FAFSA. The “Need Help with the Page” button at the bottom of every online FAFSA page leads to more information with a complete index of help topics. By clicking on the “Chat” button, you also can talk with a customer service representative directly on the Internet. If you still need help, call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
- Sign your Application. You can electronically sign the FAFSA or print a signature and mail it. If you are a dependent student your parent can sign the FAFSA either by using his/her own PIN or by mailing in a signature page.
- Submit your Application. Click the “Submit My FAFSA Now” button on the last page of the online FAFSA application. After submitting your application, you will be taken to a new page confirming your submission and giving you a confirmation number. Make a copy of the FAFSA before submitting it to the Federal Processor.
- Check the Status of your FAFSA. Check the status of your submitted FAFSA by selecting the appropriate link on the FAFSA home page at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You may check the status of your application any time, but we suggest checking it about 1 week after submission if you used a PIN to sign. If you printed, signed and mailed a signature page, we recommend checking the status about 2-3 weeks after submission. If you need to make any corrections to your data you must wait until your FAFSA is processed before making changes. If you provided a valid email address on your application, an email will be sent to you to confirm the FAFSA completion.