Financial aid applications ask for a lot of details including about your family finances. If you are considered a "dependent student" (see our FAQ "Am I a Dependent student?" for more information) you will be required to provide parental information in addition to your own.
Completing your aid applications will be a lot easier and faster if you or your parents are able to consult the following documents. Here they are with the most important/helpful ones at the top:
Useful Documents to Consult for Financial Aid Applications
- Tax Documents: Tax forms for the "prior prior year." (If you are applying for financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year, then you will provide information from your or your parents' tax forms for 2017.) These include your tax return (for example, IRS-1040) and any W-2 forms provided by your employer. If you do not have your tax information available, you may enter estimated answers and then update them later.
- Bank or Investment Account Records: Your bank account statements (checking, savings, etc.), brokerage account statements, and records of other investments like stocks and bonds, will help you to correctly answer questions about the value of your assets.
- Business or Investment Farm Records: If you (or your parents, if you are a dependent student) own a business that employs more than 100 people or an investment farm, then business records will help you answer questions about their net worth (their market value minus any debt associated with each).
- Records of Non-Taxable Income: If you received any additional non-taxable income in Year N-2, for example from welfare, retirement, or veteran's benefits, then records, receipts, or documentation of that income will help you correctly answer questions about your income that are not included on your tax forms.
- Records of Additional Taxable Income: If you received income from any taxable work-study programs, fellowships, or educational grants and scholarships, records of that income will also help you answer questions about how much was earned in this way.
- Social Security card: Your Social Security number is required for verifying your identity and eligibility for federal student aid and certain other programs. Additionally, some of us have multiple middle names or suffixes (like "Jr.") in our names. To avoid delays or complications, the name entered for financial aid applications should match the exact spelling of your name as recorded on your Social Security card. If you're worried about possible confusion, you'll want to check!
- Alien Registration card: If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. and not a U.S. citizen, you will need to provide your Alien Registration number to verify your eligibility for federal student aid and certain other aid programs.