Three ways to speed up financial aid processing
Kim Murphy| November 7, 2012
Electronic document upload
Electronically uploading your financial aid documents through the My Financial Aid Documents link on the Financial Aid Web (FAW) can save up to a week in processing time over traditional faxing. The link to upload documents via the FAW web page can be found on the lower right side of the page once you log in to the FAW.
Although scanning is the preferred method of converting a paper document into an electronic document, photos taken by a digital camera or a smartphone are acceptable.
It’s important that you check your digitized document to confirm that it is legible; remember, if you can’t read it, we can’t read it. Documents must be submitted in one the following file formats: BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF or TIFF.
When you electronically upload your financial aid documents, you:
- Help prevent potential processing delays
- Minimize the need to submit documents multiple times
- Receive automatic confirmation that your documents were received
- Have the peace of mind that your submitted documents are secure
A FAQ page is available on the FAW to assist you through the process if needed. Please contact your Finance Advisor with any additional questions.
As always, technical support is available at 866.226.7497.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If you are selected for verification, log back in to the FAFSA application and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to cut processing time by up to 10 days.
You may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA application. Since this option may eliminate the need to order and submit a tax transcript, your financial aid file can be processed that much faster.
To use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, students and parents must have:
- A valid Social Security number
- Already filed their taxes for the most recent tax year
- Maintained the same marital status since filing those taxes
Students and parents cannot use the tool if they:
- Filed their tax return as married filing separately
- Filed an amended return
- Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers your tax data, but you will still be required to enter your income information manually. Tax data from the IRS is available through the FAFSA tool about two weeks after filing your taxes electronically, or eight weeks after filing your taxes by mail.
In any case, the verification worksheet, available on the FAW, is still required for all students selected for verification.
Using direct deposit helps speed up the receipt of credit of funds up to 10 days faster than waiting for a check in the mail.
Signing up for direct deposit is quick and easy — just log in to the FAW and follow these steps:
- Click on the Credit Balance/Direct Deposit link.
- Give your designated account a nickname and enter your account information.
- Electronically sign the document.
You can sign up for direct deposit or change your account designation at any time. Updates will take up to 48 hours to process.
Please contact your Finance Advisor if you need assistance with, or have additional questions about, these tools.