Financial Aid Blog

Change to the Federal Application Process (FAFSA)

2012-2013 FAFSA Information

The 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will be available for completion on 1/1/2012.  In order to be eligible for student loans for the 2012-2013 academic year, you must reapply or complete this form.  Before you can complete the FAFSA form however, you must complete your 2011 IRS taxes.  The FAFSA on the Web can be completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Note:  The 2011-2012 form can be accessed until 6/30/11 on the website; be careful to select the correct form.

We want to draw your attention to a change that is effective with the 2012-2013 FAFSA form.  New this year, is the option to request your tax information be accessed from the IRS database by the FAFSA processing database.  You will be asked a series of questions that would determine your eligibility for this process.  If you pass all the edits and are asked if you would like this option, you should respond to this affirmatively, if possible.  You should be aware that:

  • This option will be available beginning on Feb.1, 2012.  If you have completed your taxes before then and are able to complete your FAFSA form before 2/1/2012, you will need to wait to complete the FAFSA or indicate no to the question.  Then you will transfer your tax information onto the FAFSA form as you have in the past.
  • You must have submitted your taxes to the IRS so there is a tax record available to retrieve by the FAFSA processing center.  If you have completed your taxes but have not submitted them, you cannot take advantage of the retrieval process.  In this case, you would need to provide your tax information on the FAFSA as you have in the past.  Or, the option is to submit your taxes and wait (see below) to complete the FAFSA.
  • There is a wait time for this retrieval process. 
    • If you file your taxes electronically, FAFSA will be able to retrieve the tax data two weeks after the taxes are submitted.
    • If you file your taxes by paper, FAFSA will be able to retrieve the tax data 6-8 week after the taxes are submitted.

Keep in mind, if you have completed a FAFSA in the past, the Dept. of Education will begin sending a series of email reminders to complete your FAFSA form for the 2012-2013.  Do not be alarmed, they are simply reminders.  But keep in mind, the completion of the FAFSA initiates the financial aid file in our office.  If you are interested in receiving funds that are in short supply such as the Luther Grant or Perkins loan, you will want to complete your FAFSA form as early as possible.

Lastly, for anyone considering student loans, the FAFSA is required.  We encourage all students to complete the form, even if not initially considering student loans.  Things change over the course of a year and if we have your completed application, we can respond very quickly, via student loans, should an emergency arise.  Further, when endowed funds or outside scholarships are made available, requirements often stipulate financial need and without your completed FAFSA on file, your application  could not be considered.

Please contact the financial aid office at finaid@luthersem.edu or 651-641-3463 if you should have any questions.

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