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FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Learn about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Filing the FAFSA is your first step in applying for financial aid.

Important facts you should know about FAFSA:

  • You must file a FAFSA before each academic year to be considered for financial aid.
  • The FAFSA application opens October 1 each year.
  • The UCSD school code for your FAFSA is 001317.
  • The U.S. government, California, and UCSD base financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study, on the FAFSA.
  • To receive priority funding, file your FAFSA no later than March 2 each year.
  • We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete your FAFSA.
    The FAFSA requires prior year tax information. If you have not yet filed taxes, complete your FAFSA using tax estimates. Later use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA with your actual tax numbers.

  • If you are not eligible to use the data retrieval tool, you will need to verify your tax information with an IRS Tax Transcript.
    Electronic tax filers will be able to access tax information approximately 2 to 3 weeks after filing. Paper filers will be able to access tax information 6 to 8 weeks after filing.
  • To receive priority funding, submit all financial aid documents by May 1 each year.
    The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office may ask you for additional documents after you file your FAFSA. Check your UCSD e-mail account often, and make sure you submit any additional documents or clear any FAFSA rejects by May 1.

FATV

More information and help with FAFSA:

Click a link below to see more details:

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If you're applying for the first time

Note:

Don't wait until you are admitted to UCSD to submit your FAFSA.

  1. Register for your FSA ID online, which gives you and your parents access to your personal information on the Web and also allows you to sign student aid documents electronically.
  2. Use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet as a guide to completing the online FAFSA.
  3. File an electronic FAFSA starting Oct. 1 but no later than March 2, the annual deadline for priority funding such as work-study, UC grants, and the Perkins loan.
  4. Print out a confirmation when you have completed the FAFSA online.
  5. You'll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) about 2 weeks after your FAFSA is processed.
    • Review the SAR carefully to make sure it's correct and complete.
    • Make sure the SAR lists UCSD (Title IV Code 001317) in the school section so that UCSD's Financial Aid Office will receive your FAFSA information.
    • Correct your FAFSA on the Web if you need to make changes or add UCSD's school code (001317).

    If you haven't received your SAR within 2 weeks:
  6. If you are admitted to UCSD, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will review your application for aid.
  7. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office may ask you for additional documents to support the information on your FAFSA, so check your e-mail often.
    • You must submit any additional documents to the Financial Aid Office by May 1.
    • Your FAFSA is based in part on tax returns filed by you and your parents. If you or your parents file late, your FAFSA won't be processed until you file your final federal tax returns. This could affect your aid package, since financial aid is based on the availability of funds.

If you're applying for continuing aid

Note:

You must file a FAFSA before each new school year to be considered for financial aid.

  1. Reapply for student financial aid by filing the FAFSA on the Web starting Oct. 1, but no later than March 2. You'll be prompted to pre-fill your FAFSA from the previous year's application.
  2. Print out a confirmation after you renew the FAFSA online.

  3. After your FAFSA is processed (within about 2 weeks), you'll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).
    • Review the SAR carefully to make sure it's correct and complete.
    • Make sure the SAR lists UCSD (Title IV Code 001317) in the school section so that UCSD's Financial Aid Office will receive your FAFSA information.
    • Correct your FAFSA on the Web if you need to make changes or add UCSD's school code (001317).
  4. If you haven't received your SAR within 2 weeks:
  5. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office may ask you for additional documents to support the information on your FAFSA,so check your e-mail often.
    • You must submit any additional documents to the Financial Aid Office by May 1.
    • Your FAFSA is based in part on tax returns filed by you and your parents. If you or your parents file late, your FAFSA won't be processed until you file your final federal tax returns. This could affect your aid package, since financial aid is based on the availability of funds.

If you need to correct information on your FAFSA application

Note:

Make corrections to your FAFSA immediately

Common changes include:

  • Adding UCSD's school code (001317) to your FAFSA
  • Changing any estimated figures after you or your parents file your federal income tax returns

Make corrections on the Web, even if you filed a paper FAFSA.

If you received a "reject" notice from FAFSA

Incomplete or questionable data may result in rejection of your application by FAFSA.

  1. The FAFSA processing center will notify you of the reject status via e-mail, with instructions to correct or complete any inaccurate data.
  2. Make corrections on the Web, even if you filed a paper FAFSA.
  3. Call the FAFSA processor at (800) 4FED-AID (433-3243) if you have questions about your reject status or how to clear it.

If you need to declare a change of circumstances from your income or expenses

Change of circumstances can include rent increase, car repairs, computer purchase, medical or dental costs, etc.

If your income or expenses change:

  1. File an appeal with UCSD's Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (not with FAFSA).
  2. UCSD will review your appeal and make any adjustments to your awards.
  3. Find out how to file an appeal.

If you filed your FAFSA after the March 2 deadline

Note:

If you don't file your FAFSA by March 2, you won't be considered for certain types of aid.

You will be considered only for these types of aid:

  • Federal Pell grants
  • Federal Direct loans
  • Federal parent PLUS loans
  • Graduate/ Professional PLUS loans
  • Private loans
  • Renewal Cal grants (not for new Cal grants)

If you receive aid, you may experience a delay in receiving funds.

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