May 22, 2024

Your Marital Status and the Federal Student Aid Application

Author: By Online Learning Tips Staff
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By Chelsea Walters
Senior Financial Aid Advisor, APUS

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Summer wedding season is upon us. Couples marry and embark on a life-changing adventure. With that change, it is important to understand how to report your marital status and household information on the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), because it will affect your student aid eligibility.

Filling out the FAFSA form can be confusing for some students. The tips below will help you understand how to correctly complete the FAFSA to ensure that your Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility is determined accurately.

Your Marital Status and the FAFSA

Your FAFSA is a snapshot of your status on the day you submit it. List your marital status as it is on the exact day you complete the form. For example, if you are engaged but not yet married on the day you submit your FAFSA, your marital status would be single.

Marital Status and Tax Information on the FAFSA

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for FSA. It is a tool to determine how much your household can contribute toward your education. Your marital status determines whose financial and tax information must be listed on your FAFSA. Student tax information is always required. If you are married when you complete the FAFSA, you must also provide your spouse’s tax information.

The FAFSA requests tax information from two years prior to completing the current form. For example, if you are completing the 2019-2020 FAFSA, you will need 2017 tax information.

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Before Making Any Corrections, Get Guidance

You should always take your time and care in completing the FAFSA. A mistake can cause delays in processing your financial aid package. However, there are instances where you need to make corrections or changes.

If you do make a mistake, contact your financial aid office for assistance. Otherwise, if your marital status has changed (or will change) since you submitted your FAFSA, check with the financial aid office.

You should also contact your university for any life-changing event that might affect your marital status for the FAFSA or your overall financial aid eligibility. Your financial aid advisor will help determine if you need to correct your FAFSA or if other action is appropriate.

Marriage is an exciting life milestone. Hold onto that excitement by understanding how marriage changes your personal and financial information on the FAFSA. Take advantage of the help offered by your financial aid advisor and FAFSA tips as you complete the application.

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