Congratulations, your financial aid forms are all done and processed, so now you can sit back and relax. But before you get too excited there are still a few more things to do!
What you’ll need to do next is complete your 2015 student and parent tax returns, as quickly as possible.
The reason for this is that many colleges will want to validate a family’s finances, before sending out financial aid offers. In most cases the school will correspond with the student requesting this “verification” of finances via email. At the very least, the colleges will want a copy of last year’s tax return for both the student and the parents. Sometimes the college may ask for more financial documentation.
How you provide that information will depend upon the system the college uses. Some participating colleges use the Institutional Documentation Service or IDOC system. This is a documentation collection service offered through the College Board that requires a login. Colleges that use this system will notify student when to submit documentation.
Other colleges will utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This arrangement allows participating colleges electronic access to your tax returns. Although this is a quick and easy process, tax returns are generally not available for retrieval until about three weeks after filing.
Finally, there are still some colleges that will request proof of documentation the old fashioned way, via mailed hard copies.
No matter which system the colleges use, the key to finishing the process is to make sure your tax returns are done ASAP. So get us a copy of your 2015 completed tax returns and we can help facilitate this last step.
Once you have completed this, then you can begin to relax and not worry about the financial aid process again . . . until next year that is.