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college lists on FAFSA and CSS

tigerusatigerusa 15 replies10 threads Junior Member
My daughter submitted FAFSA and CSS to a couple of colleges two weeks ago for ED/EA. New we want to make a minor change on FAFSA, can we delete old colleges and only add new colleges and submit updated forms to these schools? I am afraid if old colleges are not deleted, new forms will be sent to all including old and new colleges and delay financial aid process in previous colleges? Thanks.
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Replies to: college lists on FAFSA and CSS

  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    What are you planning to update?
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  • tigerusatigerusa 15 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Student' parents are not US citizen, married and filed tax return separately in my residence country. So we used married-filed tax return separately on FAFSA. I guess this option doesn't meet US tax return rule so in the end FAFSA treated this an error and won't report EFC. So plan to change the option to married filed jointly on FAFSA.
    Another question is: I am afraid when I add new colleges to FAFSA and CSS without deleting existing colleges on them, it will update to every college on the forms and university from previous list might re-process financial aid and try it as new application and delay the aid application. This is why I am asking if I can delete college from the form if they have downloaded FAFSA and CSS.
    Thanks.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23378 replies17 threads Senior Member
    If you change the filing status, it will not correct on the schools that have already processed your application. Usually you have to make that type of correction with each college.

    I think the correct designation for your parents is Did not/Will not file because they didn't file a US return, and that you need to print out the FAFSA forms and they have to hand sign them and submit a hard copy.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    I agree with @twoinanddone . These parents did not file a U.S. tax return. I believe they would check NO for tax filing. And the parents can’t get a FSA ID so would need to print out and hand sign.

    How did the first batch of colleges get done of there was this error??

    They would have to complete a non-filers statement with all of the colleges.

    @kelsmom @happymomof1 perhaps you could chime in. While I think this is correct...these folks might know for sure.

    But I’m confused. You say the FAFSA treated what you did as an error...so wouldn’t you want that corrected on ALL the colleges to which the FAFSA was sent? The financial aid forms need to be correct for ALL colleges.
    edited November 17
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  • tigerusatigerusa 15 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I am father of student. Maybe a shared learning for other non-us citizen parents. You can't choose not filed tax return on FSFSA if you do report income and file tax return in your country because your income might exceed income limit based on US tax rule. According to US tax rule, individual must file tax return if meet certain income threshold. If file tax return in foreign countries, choose the option of filing tax return, it is a matter of married file jointly or married filed separately based on your situation. But FSFSA doesn't like the option of married file separately. Let us leave this question alone now. By the way, I went to study in US and so I have SIN and can sign FSFSA form electronically.
    can someone tell me if I can delete schools which have downloaded FSFSA and CSS form and add new schools and send updated information to them?
    Thank you.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    Yes, you can delete schools and make this change.

    But I am going to repeat my initial advice. The information on your FAFSA needs to be accurate. You say on one hand that your FAFSA didn’t process...because of an error because of your tax filing status. Then on the other hand, you are worrying about the initial submissions changing.

    Again I ask...did your initial submission go through...or not. If there was an error on those, you need to fix that as well.

    I will also add, married filing separately IS a tax filing status in this country. And it is allowed on the FAFSA form...for people who have filed a U.S. tax return married filing separately. Not sure where you are getting that this isn’t an allowable tax filing status.

    You didn’t file a U.S. tax return...right?
    According to US tax rule, individual must file tax return if meet certain income threshold

    This is true if you are required to file a U.S. tax return. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but if you are a citizen of another country and your income was earned in another country, you are not subject to U.S. tax laws. You would be subject to YOUR country’s tax laws.

    If you earned the money in the U.S. you would be subject to U.S. tax filing guidelines. Did you earn your money here?

    @BelknapPoint any thoughts?
    edited November 17
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    @tigerusa

    Please clarify if you want decent info on the correction.

    You have stated that you are not a U.S. citizen. But if you are completing a FAFSA, your student is, correct?

    1. Do you live in another country?

    2. Did you earn your income as a resident of another country?

    3. Were you required to file a U.S. tax return in 2018...and if so, why?

    4. Did you earn your income in another country?

    edited November 17
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23378 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Were you, as the parent, able to get a FSA ID? If so, that would mean you have a SSN. Both the parent (just one) and the student need an FSA ID.

    You can choose Married filing separately on the FAFSA but then you cannot use the tax retrieval tool, but you have said you didn't file US taxes anyway (why would you if you aren't US citizens and didn't work in A really doesn't care that much if you filed Korean taxes or French taxes (FAFSA does care about income in those countries). One of the options is "Did not/will not file" and it means US tax forms.the US?). I still think you are reading the question wrong in that it is asking if you filed US taxes. Since you can't use the DRT, you will be verified.

    But yes, you can remove colleges and add new ones on the FAFSA any time you want. Will the new colleges process? We don't know.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15661 replies99 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    If you file a foreign return, you are supposed to say yes to the tax filing question ... and include the income & tax amounts (convert to USD). Saying you are married but filed separately does not cause an error that keeps the EFC from being computed. It will result in a comment code, but the EFC will be computed (and although you might be asked about the filing status, US rules for that won’t apply to you because you didn’t file US returns).

    I suspect it was a different issue that caused the lack of an EFC. Does the parent have a valid FSA ID that was used to sign the FAFSA? If not, that’s most likely the issue.
    edited November 17
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    @kelsmom

    This is what the OP wrote:
    I went to study in US and so I have SIN and can sign FSFSA form electronically.

    What is a SIN?

    Also, checking for clarity @kelsmom. Yes, this person needs to list his income and taxes from his country...but does he indicate YES that he filed a tax return? For some reason, I thought parents who didn’t earn income and were residents and citizens of another country answered NO...and completed a non-filers statement (which is about US returns)...and the reason for not filing would be not a citizen or resident...no money earned in the US.

    Do I have that wrong? If so...I do apologize!
    edited November 17
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  • tigerusatigerusa 15 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies. To be clear:
    1. my daughter is US citizen, I am not, but I have social security number and so I got a FSA ID.
    2. my answers on FAFSA form- parent demographic information:
    Parents Filed 2018 Income Tax Return? (question 79): answer- ALREADY COMPLETED
    parents' type of 2018 tax form used (question 80): my answer- foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, OR IRS 1040NR-EZ
    Parents' 2018 Tax Return Filing Status (question 81): MARRIED-FILED SEPARATE RETURN

    Both me and my file filed tax return in the country we live, not US tax return (No US income). After we submit FAFSA on line, the message we got:
    congratulations, xxx!
    conformation number: FXXXXXXX, date and time
    Data release number xxxx

    What Happens Next
    Contact the financial aid office at your school(s).
    You verified that either you or your parents reported that a tax return was not filed even though the income reported meets the IRS requirements for filing one. To view the IRS requirements, click IRS tax filing requirements. Therefore, we cannot calculate an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You must contact your Financial Aid Administrator (FAA).


    Should we contact financial aid office of each college? or it doesn't matter that university will have their own formula to caclcuate EFC. Thanks.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    @tigerusa thank you for the clarification.

    Since it says to contact the financial aid offices, I would do so.

    At the very least, find out if you need to do a non-filers statement (because you didn’t do a U.S. tax return).

    I’m not sure why you want to change the tax filing status on your kid’s FAFSA...
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23378 replies17 threads Senior Member
    my daughter is US citizen, I am not, but I have social security number and so I got a FSA ID.

    I think it is more common if the parent has a SSN and be working in the US or filing US taxes. That's how the FAFSA system is set up so you are an exception. There are quite a few students who are citizens (so can file FAFSA) but their parents are not/have no SSN, so there is a process for them (print out the FAFSA, use 000-00-0000 and send in a hard copy of the FAFSA).

    It is telling you to contact the schools because you don't fit into the normal situation so you can't just fill out the forms online.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15661 replies99 threads Senior Member
    @thumper1 , yes, the parent does say they filed a tax return if they did so ... even if they didn’t file a US tax return. It’s one of those weird things about FAFSA. If the school requires tax returns, they will instruct the student regarding what they require in this case.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    So...just making sure I understand.

    The student checks YES for filing taxes.

    They can indicate Married Filing Separately.

    And this can be submitted...which it was.

    Is there ANY reason why this student should change the tax filing status on the FAFSA for subsequent schools (unless married filing separately was an error)?

    Will changing the tax filing status change anything about the outcome of this student FAFSA. Or will the student still need to contact the colleges?
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15661 replies99 threads Senior Member
    I would not advise changing it.
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  • tigerusatigerusa 15 replies10 threads Junior Member
    the problem is with my current answers, it won't tell us EFC after all incomes are reported correctly. I guess it is because I as parent, have SSN and don't file us tax return causing the issue. Hope it won't affect each university assessment on EFC with the right income information.
    for normal situation, after you submit FAFSA form, does it tell you what is EFC?
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  • thumper1thumper1 75486 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 19
    Here is the thing. If you filed married filing separately, that is the tax filing status you need to put on your FAFSA form. You can not just decide to change to something else.

    You mention the colleges use the Profile as well. For those schools, the financial information provided in the Profile will be what the school uses to calculate need based aid.

    @mommdc can you link the FAFSA formula so these folks can run it by hand?

    It is very very possible that you will be asked to provide documentation for both parents incomes, regardless of what country they were earned in. You might want to assemble that info now...and be prepared to provide it.

    Students here are asked to either use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for FAFSA or provide a tax transcript. This is for those filing U.S. tax returns. You can’t do either.

    Your initial FAFSA message was to contact the colleges. Why don’t you do that and find out why that needs to happen.

    edited November 19
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23378 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Yes, an EFC is issued after the FAFSA is filed. The schools use that number to process the government FA (Pell, workstudy, SEOG) and often its own aid too.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29801 replies177 threads Senior Member
    Here's the EFC formula: https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/2021EFCFormulaGuide.pdf

    Here is the paper version of the FAFSA:
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/2020-21-fafsa.pdf

    @tigerusa - You need to contact each of the colleges and universities on your daughter's list, and let them know you are facing challenges with the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. They will tell you what they want you to do. Do not be surprised if each place asks for different information. Just get whatever each place wants to that place.
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