Why Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA)?To qualify for federal sources of financial aid, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education. Make sure you submit the FAFSA form before May 1st as it is used to determine if you are eligible for state and institutional aid as well.
Submitting the FAFSA determines your eligibility for student aid by:
- Applying a standard financial aid eligibility calculation to a student's and family's personal and financial information
- Conducting checks with other government agencies (Social Security Administration and Selective Service for example) to ensure the applicant is eligible for federal student aid.
- Electronically forwarding a record of the application to the school/schools specified by the applicant.
How to Apply for Aid
Step 1:Apply for an FSA ID. The FSA ID will be required to sign the FAFSA for both the student and at least one parent completing the form. Instructions on how to create your FSA ID are available at the FSA ID website or through a link from the FAFSA webpage. The FSA ID must be received before the FAFSA can be saved and accessed again, so be sure to get that first. The assigned FSA ID will be valid and usable for the entire time a student is in college. The FSA ID will allow a student access to other information pertaining to financial aid received while in college.
Step 2:Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at the FAFSA website. The form requires from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. It will usually require information from both the student and parent (custodial parents only, including step-parents). Students may begin the form, and save what information has been provided, and then go back at a later date to finish it. If the student and parents have not yet done the current years tax returns, the income information may be estimated off of the prior years return. Newbury College’s Title IV School Code is 007484
Step 3:One to two weeks after you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).
Step 4:Once Newbury College receives a completed copy of the SAR, the Financial Aid Office will use the information to determine if any more information is needed to prepare your financial aid award package. If no more information is needed, an official financial aid award letter will be mailed to you. If more information is needed, an estimated financial aid award letter containing a request for the additional documentation will be mailed to you.
Step 5:Once you receive the official financial aid award letter from the Financial Aid Office you must decide whether or not to accept the different loans offered to you. Use the Award Revision form included with your award letter to decline or reduce loan amounts.
Every year ALL STUDENTS must complete a NEW FAFSA.
Common FAFSA Mistakes to AvoidCompleting the FAFSA thoroughly and accurately is important. The slightest error may cause weeks of delay in receiving your financial aid award letter from Newbury College. The most common mistakes to avoid are:
- Forgetting to sign the application. Be sure both student and parent(s) sign the FAFSA application.
- Parents using the W-2 form to report income. Do not use this form! For income reporting take the Adjusted Gross Income directly from the 1040/1040A/1040EZ federal tax return, not from the W-2.
- Parents using the W-2 form to report taxes paid. Parents often use the taxes withheld on their W-2 form instead of their actual tax liability. They should list the actual taxes paid shown on their 1040/1040A/1040EZ federal tax return.
- Not reporting all required sources of untaxed income. Be sure to include child support, tax exempt interest income, and etc.
- Divorced parents including their ex-spouses' income. The custodial parent should list his/her income and that of a current spouse if applicable.
- If you are a male applicant, please make sure that you register for Selective Services.
- Make sure social security numbers are accurate.
- Not following instructions.
Special CircumstancesFederal laws governing financial aid allow the Financial Aid Office to recalculate financial need in cases of special circumstances not taken into consideration by the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
To ensure fairness and compliance with the federal regulations, there are limits to which circumstances can be considered. Special circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis. Common special circumstances include, but are not limited to, changes in income, high medical/dental bills not covered by insurance, and divorce, separation or death of a parent. The Financial Aid Office is not able to consider circumstances such as high mortgage, car payments or consumer debt.
Please submit a completed a Financial Aid Appeal Request form posted in the Forms area of the website. Upon review it may be necessary to submit additional documentation. Appeals will be considered incomplete until all requested documentation has been received. Special circumstances reviews will be completed within 3-4 weeks after receipt of all required documents, but some changes may take as long as 6-8 weeks. Once the special circumstance appeal has been processed, you will be notified of any changes that resulted from your special circumstance. Please note that a recalculation in financial need does not guarantee that additional aid will be awarded.
If you have any questions about requesting your special circumstance appeal, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (617) 730-7100 to schedule an office or phone appointment with a counselor. Counselors will help you determine if your situation can be considered and if a potential special circumstance is likely to lead to additional aid eligibility.