The 2012-13 Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), will be available on January 1, 2012 at www.fafsa.gov. As you prepare to file your FAFSA for 2012-2013, note these very important changes to the submission and application process:


1) While you can file your FAFSA using estimated tax information, ultimately your application will be processed based on your actual tax return information as pulled in by the IRS data retrieval tool.  This will allow direct linking of actual tax information to the financial aid application. You can learn more about the IRS data retrieval tool at: https://fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1112/help/irshlp8.htm.

The important fact to remember here is that you need to submit your taxes to the IRS as soon as possible in order to use IRS data retrieval and to allow for expedient processing of your FAFSA.


2) Next, significant changes exist in the 2012-2013 verification process.  If your 2012-2013 FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be asked to submit a signed Verification Worksheet to verify your household size, number of dependents enrolled in college, child support paid and food stamps received, if applicable.  Additional documents for untaxed income items, child support paid and food stamps will be required to meet the verification requirements for income, you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student, or spouse, if you are married) must do one of the following:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval to complete your FAFSA income information.
  • If you submitted your FAFSA (based on estimated taxes) without using the IRS Data Retrieval, you can make a correction to your FAFSA online and use IRS Data Retrieval.
  • You must submit copies of 2011 Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS with your accurate IRS data retrieval figures. Additional information is:

– Available on IRS website at www.irs.gov

– Available from IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946

– Available by paper request which is downloadable at www.irs.gov.

– Sign and date them if they are not sent from the IRS directly to the college.


3) You must provide documentation of child support paid, which could include a signed statement from recipient or official records.


4) If you reported on your FAFSA that you or anyone in your household receives benefits from Food Stamps/SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), you must provide written documentation from the issuing agency.

It is imperative that you prepare and submit your taxes to the IRS as soon as possible in preparation for filing your 2012-2013 FAFSA.

The application process is very thorough and the earlier you begin your application the better.  NOVA’s priority deadline, to have all documents to us, is May 1, 2012.

1.      Submit your taxes to the IRS
2.      Submit your FAFSA
3.      Use the IRS data retrieval tool
4.      Complete your “To Do List”

Be proactive with your financial aid application to ensure consideration for all types of aid and completion by the date payment is due.