What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form you fill out that will help colleges and universities determine your eligibility for financial aid. The application is required for all types of financial aid including Pell and other federal grants, state grants, institutional grants, loans and work study.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
Make sure you’re eligible to apply for federal financial aid (grants, work study, and loans). You must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be accepted for admission by UNT Dallas and enrolled in a degree or certification program
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Have a high school diploma or a GED (general equivalency diploma)
- Not be in default on any Title IV loans (examples: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Grad PLUS Loan) or owe a refund or repayment on educational funds received at any institution
- Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
- Enroll in and maintain at least a half-time class load at UNT Dallas and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress
Note: Visiting students are not eligible to receive financial aid.
Step 2: Set up an FSA ID.
You should set up an FSA ID at the FSA ID website. An FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature on websites such as FAFSA on the Web.
Your FSA ID can be used electronically to sign your FAFSA application, which will decrease the processing time for your aid. You can also use your FSA ID to make online corrections to your FAFSA, access your Student Aid Report (SAR), sign the Master Promissory Note for a federal student loan and access your federal student aid records online, including your student loan history information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Parents of dependent student should also set up an FSA ID.
The security of your FSA ID is important because it can be used to:
- Electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents
- Access your personal records, and
- Make binding legal obligations
Please keep your FSA ID because you can use it each time you apply for financial aid throughout your college career.
Step 3: Gather documents and information.
Gather the following documents and information before starting the FAFSA.
- Your Social Security Number
- Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your driver’s license (if any)
- Your Federal Income Tax Return (IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040 EZ)
- Your spouse’s, if you are married
- Your parents' information if you are dependent*
- Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
- Foreign Texas Return, or Tax Return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Your untaxed income records
- Veterans non-education benefit records
- Child support received
- Worker’s compensation
- Your current bank statements
- Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
Other Useful Tips:
- Complete the income and asset information. Do not leave it blank. For questions regarding income, if the answer is zero or the question does not apply to you, enter 0.
- List UNTD’s Title IV Federal School Code – 042421
Keep copies of all documents and correspondence
*The FAFSA is designed to determine dependency for financial aid purposes. Typically, it’s not difficult to discern a student’s status as dependent or independent. However, there may be a situation involving special circumstances that won’t necessarily be reflected on the FAFSA.
Here’s an example:
Typically, a traditionally-aged student needs to have one of their parents sign a FAFSA. But what if the student’s grandparents have raised him because his parents are deceased? It may not be reasonable to expect the grandparents to be responsible for the cost of the student’s education. In this case, the financial aid administrator can use professional judgment to classify the student as independent. The administrator was able to "override" the dependency status.
Step 4: Fill out the FAFSA.
Fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is available each January for the upcoming academic year.
It is recommended that you complete the FAFSA online because it can reduce the processing time and lessen the potential for mistakes.
Step 5: Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
You'll receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) via e-mail about two to three business days after you complete the FAFSA. The SAR will arrive via e-mail only if you provide a valid e-mail address when you fill out the FAFSA. If you don't provide a valid e-mail, then it'll take up to three weeks before your SAR is delivered to you by mail. The Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office also will receive your FAFSA data electronically, which they use to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
When you receive the SAR, please do the following:
- Check the comments section. This is where you'll view your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This section also will tell you if you've been selected for verification.
- Review it for accuracy. If corrections are needed, call the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office at 972-780-3662. If your SAR is accurate, keep it for your records.
When the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office receives your FAFSA, they will do the following:
- Verify you have been admitted into UNTD.
- Verify you are admitted into an eligible program.
- Verify you are meeting satisfactory academic progress.
- Determine if your FAFSA application is complete.
This process may take several months depending on the time of year you are applying for financial aid. You should continue to access and monitor your financial aid information at myUNTDallas.
Do you have special circumstances that might affect your ability to pay for college?
If so, please call the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office at 972-780-3662 to explain your special circumstances. The financial aid administrator will then give you forms to complete so you can describe your situation.. There is not an area on the FAFSA where you can describe your special circumstances.
Representatives can take special circumstances into consideration as decisions are being made about financial aid award packages. Below are examples of situations that are considered to be "special circumstances."
• Loss or reduction of employment, wages, or unemployment compensation
• Loss of untaxed income or benefits e.g. Social Security benefits or child support
• Separation or divorce
• Death of a parent or spouse
• Parent enrolled in college
• Unusually high medical expenses
After learning more about your situation, the administrator may be able to exercise what is known as "Professional Judgment," which gives them the authority to make changes to your financial aid application.
Step 6: Check your To Do List
Visit myUNTDallas and check your e-mail, Message Center and To Do List for any notifications from the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office for if you need to take action.
Please be sure to read any communications that the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office sends you.
Step 7: Review your award offer
Review your award offer along with the terms and conditions.
Step 8: Review your tuition and fee bill
Start at the Student Center and click on Account Inquiry.
You'll then see the Account Balance, which shows the charges for each term and how much pending aid you have.
Step 9: Review your budget
When you're in the Student Center, click on "View Financial Aid."
Select the year.
Click on Financial Aid Summary.
Click on Estimated Financial Aid Budget Amount.
View your Cost of Attendance.
Step 10: Accept or decline awards
Accept or decline each award. You can also decide to make a decision later. You can review accept or decline your awards by completing the steps found on the "accept awards" pdf to the right of the screen.
If you are offered a direct loan and would like less than the amount offered, then you need to contact the SFAS office at 972-780-3662.
If you applied for a Stafford Loan, the loan application data will be electronically sent to the Department of Education. You’ll need to check your To Do List for any updates. All UNT Stafford Loan borrowers must complete entrance counseling, which can be done at StudentLoans.gov. A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is also required for all students. Entrance Counseling and MPN will be listed on your To Do List when available to complete.
If you applied for a PLUS loan, the loan application data will be electronically sent to the Department of Education for a credit check. If your credit is approved, the parent borrower will need to complete a Master Promissory Note on StudentLoans.gov. If your credit is denied, the Department of Education will mail information to the parent concerning the credit decision with the option to resolve the issue, use a co-endorser, or not pursue PLUS. If a parent will not pursue PLUS, SFAS will offer an additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan to the student.
After you have applied for financial aid, visit myUNT for updates from the Student Financial Aid and ManScholarships office. The amount of your financial aid award package will be posted on myUNT, where you can accept or decline each award. Below is an overview on how to access your award package on myUNT. Continue to myUNT.
Step 1: Once you're logged onto myUNTD, click on 'Accept Financial Aid.'
Step 2:Select the aid year you want to view.
Step 3: You can see what you've been awarded. Then, you can accept or decline the awards.
Step 4:Be sure to read the details and requirements of each award.
Step 11: Review Pending Aid
Step 1: Start at the Student Center and click on Account Inquiry.
Step 2:You'll then see your Account Balance, which shows the charges for each term and how much pending aid you have.
Step 12: Award disbursement
Your financial aid will be ready to disburse to your student account once you have:
- accepted or declined your awards
- completed all To Do List items from myUNTDallas
- enrolled in sufficient credit hours
Your aid will disburse shortly before classes begin for each fall or spring semester. You will receive notification once your federal aid has disbursed.