Three ways to speed up financial aid processingBy : Kim Murphy | December 11, 2018
Electronic document upload
Electronically uploading your financial aid documents can save up to a week in processing time over traditional faxing.
If you received a notification on the student website that a document is needed, you can upload it by clicking on the document as it’s listed on the Account > Awards & Disbursements tab.
If you didn’t receive a notification, but a document is being requested, you can submit that under Account > Overview > Additional Forms.
Scanning is the preferred method of converting a paper document into an electronic document however, photos taken by a digital camera or a smartphone are acceptable.
It’s important that you check your digitized document before you submit it to confirm that it’s 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
Please contact the Financial Services department with any additional questions. As always, technical support is available at 866.226.7497.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If you are selected for verification, it is encouraged that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import data from your tax returns (if not already done during the FAFSA application process). This is the fastest, easiest, and most secure method of meeting verification requirements. 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 tax year applicable to the FAFSA being completed
- 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 as Head of Household and are married
- Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
- The parents’ marital status is “unmarried and both legal parents living together”
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 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 on the Account > Awards & Disbursements tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click Change to Direct Deposit, enter your bank account information, and click Continue to e-sign and submit your request.
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 our Financial Services department if you need assistance with, or have additional questions about, these tools.