Financial Aid Update

Summer Sessions 2017

The summer 2017 online Financial Aid Application became available on March 1, under the financial aid tab through AppalNet. In order for summer 2017 financial aid eligibility to be determined before summer classes begin, students need to complete this application, as well as be sure they have completed the 2016-2017 FAFSA (and have Appalachian listed as a school to receive their FAFSA using school code 002906). If changes need to be made to your student’s summer school application after it has been fully submitted, please advise them to contact our office. They will need to work with a financial aid counselor to make changes.

If your student is planning to participate in a summer study abroad trip, they will need to complete the Summer Study Abroad Agreement Form in lieu of the online summer school application.

2017-2018 FAFSA

Students are encouraged to submit their 2017-18 FAFSA as soon as possible to optimize their eligibility for financial aid. Students may apply electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

To complete the FAFSA for the upcoming 2017-18 school year, you will use income and tax information from 2015. This is the same income and tax information you reported on the 2016-17 FAFSA. Because 2015 income and tax information is included on both the 2016-17 FAFSA and 2017-18 FAFSA, it should match for both FAFSA years. Sometimes conflicting information can still occur; if it does, the Office of Student Financial Aid must resolve the conflicting information by requesting additional financial aid requirements for both years. Please have your student monitor their Financial Aid tab through AppalNet to ensure that there are no outstanding verification documents requested. This is very important because until all conflicting information is resolved, any pending spring and summer 2017 financial aid cannot be released. More information about the 2017-18 FAFSA changes can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

In early March, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is the tool built into the FAFSA that allows you to import IRS data directly into the FAFSA and helps prevent conflicting information, was disabled due to security concerns. While the IRS and U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid stated that the tool is expected to be back up and running in fall 2017 when the next FAFSA season begins, the IRS also noted that the tool would remain down until the problem is resolved. More information about the DRT outage can be found on the IRS website.

Verification Update

On April 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education announced changes to 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 verification requirements to help alleviate the impact on students and families who have been selected for FAFSA verification. If you or your student still needs to submit tax documentation, we now have the flexibility to accept a signed 2015 Tax Return in lieu of an IRS Tax Return Transcript. Should you choose to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript, you can request one at irs.gov or calling 1-800-829-1040. It was also announced that institutions are no longer required to collect verification of nonfiling from the IRS, verifying that the student, the student’s parents, or the student’s spouse did not file a 2015 tax return. More information about these latest verification changes can be found under announcements on the Federal Student Aid website or on our website.

Awarding of Financial Aid for 2017-2018

The Office of Student Financial Aid is loading 2017-2018 FAFSAs from the Department of Education’s Central Processing System as they are received. Awarding 2017-2018 financial aid to new freshman, new transfer, and new graduate students began on March 1, 2017. Currently enrolled students will be awarded financial aid beginning mid April. Please visit our website for regular updates and continue to remind your student to monitor the Financial Aid tab of their AppalNet account for updates on any outstanding requirements and award information.

Loan Deadline

The last day to submit paperwork to the Office of Financial Aid or take action at studentloans.gov in order to receive a fall 2016-spring 2017 loan will be May 9, 2017 at noon. Additional information about financial aid dates and deadlines can be found our website.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Financial Aid