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In order to receive financial aid, you must be fully admitted and enrolled at UNK. If you have yet to apply to UNK and would like to, click here. Once admitted, UNK highly encourages you to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
For the 2017-18 award year, the FAFSA will be available beginning October 1, 2016 which is three months earlier than previous years. In addition, you-and your parent when applicable-will report income and tax information from an earlier year. For example, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you will report 2015 income and tax information, rather than 2016 tax income and information. This change should make the FAFSA easier because you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out the FAFSA allowing for a better chance and being able to use the IRS data retrieval tool.
For the 2016-2017 school year (fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2017) the FAFSA is available now. If you are planning on attending UNK fall 2016, spring 2017, and/or summer 2017 UNK Financial Aid encourages you to file your FAFSA as soon as you can, if you have not done so already.
The online FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov will guide you through the application; click “Start a New FAFSA” button on the home page, and just follow the instructions on the screen. While completing the FAFSA, you must fill in the University of Nebraska Kearney’s school code in order for the University to receive your information.
The school code for UNK is 002551.
If you normally use the IRS data retrieval tool to input your tax information directly in to the FAFSA, please note that this tool is not working at this time. If you are selected for verification you will have to order a tax transcript directly from the IRS.
Read and respond promptly to all communication sent to you. The federal processor will select some applications for data verification, which will require submitting additional documents. The FAFSA will be processed once we receive all requested documents. Instructions for completing the verification process and links to the required forms will be sent to the email address included in your admission application, and also to your MyBLUE account. Monitor each of these closely, and respond promptly to any requests.
If you need help filling out the FAFSA, use these free tools:
Here are solutions to the common difficulties encountered when completing the FAFSA:
Your FSA ID serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records with the U.S. Department of Education systems. If you already have a Federal Student Aid PIN you can like your PIN to your FSA ID. Your FSA ID username does not expire but your FSA ID password will expire every 18 months.
Some parents and students have expressed difficulty in setting up the FSA ID password and username. Click here for step by step instructions on setting up the FSA ID.
Here are some tips to keep in mind about the FSA ID:
Some applications for Federal Student Aid are selected for a process called verification. Verification is used to confirm the data provided on your FAFSA was correctly entered. FAFSAs are selected for verification for many reasons and being selected does not mean that you did anything wrong.
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be required to submit additional documentation to UNK in order for your financial aid to be awarded. UNK will notify you via email and on your MyBLUE “To Do List” to let you know the type(s) of additional documentation that will be required. Note: If you have not been contacted by the UNK Financial Aid Office it is likely that your application hasn't been selected and there is no further action for you to take.
When all the documents requested have been received, your file will be reviewed. Based upon the review, additional information may be requested from you. It is important that you monitor your MyBLUE “To Do List” to stay informed on the progress of your file.
You can expect the processing of your verification paperwork to take up to two weeks from the date you turn in your complete documentation packet to the Office of Financial Aid. Note: all requested documents must be received in order to have your file reviewed. Please also be aware that the UNK Office of Financial Aid experiences seasonal changes in volume which may affect expected processing times.
We recommend that you complete verification as soon as possible so you can be awarded in a timely manner. Please be aware that you will not be offered aid until your file is completed. Consequently, you may be negatively impacted due to fund availability the longer you wait to submit your documents.
For a list that contains links to the forms and/or instructions required for the verification process, click here.
Professional Judgement (PJ):
Professional Judgement (PJ) refers to the authority given to financial aid administrators to make adjustments to a student’s FAFSA based on special circumstances. Some examples are:
The above list is not the only circumstances PJ applies to. The financial aid administrator has the authority to make adjustments when there is any sort of special circumstance that they feel merits an adjustment. If you believe you have a special circumstance contact us.
Your dependency status determines whose information must be reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent student you will report your and your parents’ information. If you are an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you are married, your spouse’s). If you are a dependent student, it is assumed that you have the support of parents so their information must be assessed along with your information. Your dependency is determined based on the answers to the dependency questions on the FAFSA.
If you have a special circumstance and cannot provide your parents’ information or you are confused about who your parent would be when you fill out your FAFSA, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info#special-circumstances. If you have any other questions about dependency and the FAFSA feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance.
If a dependent student meets the definition of an unaccompanied youth and is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless they may be an independent student (for federal student aid purposes only) as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. A student who is verified as being an unaccompanied homeless youth is exempt from providing parental data on their FAFSA. For more information please click here. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.