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FAFSA Guide for Students and Parents

New Students: Prepare | File | Verification | Follow-up                                  Continuing Students: Renew

PREPARE (October - February)

  1. Apply for Admission   
  2. Apply for a PIN number
    • Student and parent will need to apply for a PIN number. Keep this number as it will be the same PIN each year to complete the FAFSA. You will also use it to complete loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. 
  3. To complete FAFSA you will need the following information for student and parent(s):
    • Social Security Number 
    • Driver's license
    • W-2 Forms for the previous year and other records of money earned
    • Most recent Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or foreign tax return
    • Records of child support paid (if applicable)
    • Records of taxable earnings from federal work-study or other need-based work programs
    • Records of any grants, scholarships, and fellowship aid that was included in your or your parents' adjusted gross income (AGI)
    • Current bank statements
    • Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records
    • Documentation of U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen status
  4. Complete a FAFSA Worksheet before starting your FAFSA application

Check out this video from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid,  to learn how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives you access to grants, loans and work-study jobs that can help fund your education. Visit   StudentAid.gov to learn more.

FILE (January 1 - March 3)

Important Dates:

  • Students can begin completing the  FAFSA: January 1  
  • FAFSA priority filing deadline for all new students: February 15
  • Deadline for   Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (CA Residents only): March 3    

Review important tips and information before completing the FAFSA: 

  • Name and Social Security Number 
    Enter your name and Social Security Number exactly as they appear on your Social Security Card. 

  • Degree or certificate
    Unless you will be a graduate student, a professional Pharmacy student, or a fifth-year teaching credential student when you enter Pacific, indicate 1 (1st bachelor's degree). 

  • Grade level
    Entering Freshmen: Indicate 0 (never attended college/first year undergraduate), even if you have college units earned while in high school. Transfer Students (including freshmen attending another college or university in Spring 2014 or Fall 2013): Estimate your grade level at Pacific, counting transferable units, only.

  • First bachelor's degree before July 1, of your incoming year?
    If you will not have a four-year college degree when you enter Pacific, indicate No. 

  • Federal school code & housing plans
    University of the Pacific's School Code is 001329. 

  • Highest grade level parents completed
    Answer for both of your legal parents (or adoptive parents). 

  • Legal Guardian
    The definition of legal guardianship does not include your parents, even if they were appointed by a court to be your guardians. You are also not considered a legal guardian of yourself. By answering "Yes" it means you can provide a copy of the court's decision giving you this legal status. 

  • Students financial information
    All students must fill out this section, even if you don't have any income, savings, or investments and do not a Federal Income Tax Return. If an item does not apply to you, enter 0. 

  • Read, sign, and date:  http://www.pin.ed.gov
    Make sure FAFSA is signed with student PIN. If parent information is required on your FAFSA, a parent PIN is also required.

  • Click on the image below to complete FAFSA:

click here for FAFSA Web Site

  • FAFSA Help Desk: 1.800.433.3243

 back to PREPARE

VERIFICATION (March - July) 

Note: If you are applying/entering for the 2014-2015 academic year, you will need to submit 2013 documents for verification.

If student or  parent(s) filed a tax return:

How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

  1. To use the DRT, log on to the FAFSA website and proceed to the parent and/or student financial section where there will be a box labeled IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  2. Provide the requested information and you will be directed to the IRS website, where you will authorize the IRS to submit your tax information to FAFSA.
  3. You will then be directed back to the FAFSA website, where you will sign and resubmit your FAFSA with Pacific's school code, 001329.
  4. If the FAFSA is not resubmitted after the DRT is used, the tax information will not transfer to Pacific.
  5. You do NOT need to order IRS Tax Return Transcripts if the DRT was successful.

How do I request IRS Tax Return Transcript?

    Step 1. If the DRT on FAFSA was unsuccessful go to:  http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript 

Tax Return Transcript Image

Option 1: Click on "Get Transcript Online" (view and print your transcript immediately)

    • Create an account or sign in.

Option 2: Click on "Get Transcript by Mail" (takes 5 to 10 business days to arrive)

    • Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on the 2013 IRS Income Tax Return, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the 2013 IRS Income Tax Return).
    • Request/select the "IRS Tax Return Transcript" and NOT the "IRS Tax Account Transcript".


If student or parent(s) did NOT file a federal Income Tax Return

  1. Please complete the Non-Filers section:
  2. Submit copies of 2013 W-2 Forms.

 back to FILE

FOLLOW-UP (May - July)

Have all requirements listed under the Financial Aid section of your insidePacific been resolved (i.e. "signed off") with an "R" status?

  • Aid is estimated until all requirements have been resolved/signed off.

Have you reviewed and accepted/declined your financial aid awards, including desired loan amounts, located on your insidePacific? (click on the image below)

Stafford Loans

  • Have you completed BOTH the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note?
    • www.studentloans.gov
    • You will need to use your FAFSA PIN to sign in.
    • You do not need to complete the "Financial Awareness Counseling".

If you have been awarded a Cal Grant, have you completed the "High School Graduation Certification Form"?

Does your Parent(s) want to apply for the Federal PLUS Loan?

  • This is not automatically awarded, parent(s) must apply at  www.studentloans.gov.
  • Sign in using parent(s) information and FAFSA PIN.


RENEW- For Continuing Students Only (January - March 2)

Deadline for continuing Pacific StudentsMarch 2nd 

  • Complete FAFSA Renewal Application at  FAFSA. Make sure FAFSA is signed with both student and parent PIN's, if required.

Grade Level

  • Continuing Pacific students should indicate their projected grade level for the following academic year (i.e. counting in courses that will be completed at the end of spring). 

California Students 

  • If you are a continuing student who had a Cal Grant last year, the Office of the Registrar will automatically submit your GPA Verification.
  • If you did not receive a Cal Grant last year and are applying for one this year, you are responsible for requesting a GPA Verification. 
    • More than 24 units earned at Pacific: Request from the Office of the Registrar.
    • Less than 24 units earned at Pacific: Request from High School or Prior College.

Tax Return Transcript for Continuing Students

  • Returning students do NOT need to submit a Tax Return Transcript and W-2 Forms, unless requested by the Office of Financial Aid.


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