The 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available earlier beginning October 1.

Why is the FAFSA now available earlier?

What made possible for the FAFSA to be made available earlier is the fact that it is now using income information from an earlier year. For the 2020-2021 year students will be using income information from the 2018 year, which should be readily available at this point in time.

How early should I apply for the FAFSA?

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage and submit the FAFSA for the 2020-2021 year now! Completing a FAFSA as early as possible allows students to:

  • have an opportunity to receive financial aid programs that may be limited in funding
  • Have additional time to make corrections to the FAFSA, if necessary
  • Have additional time to submit additional documents that may be required to complete the application

What do I need to complete the FAFSA?

In order to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA students will need: 

  • SSN for student and parents (if applicable)
  • Permanent Resident Card (for students that are not U.S Citizens)
  • 2018 Tax Returns (for student and parent, if applicable)
  • 2018 W-2s (for student and parent, if applicable)
  • FSA ID (for student and parent, if applicable). If forgotten can be retrieved at https://fsaid.ed.gov
  • Other pertinent 2018 income information such as child support paid and received and benefits information.

Where can I complete the FAFSA?

The 2020-2021 FAFSA application can be completed online at http://www.fafsa.gov

UTRGV FAFSA School Code: 003599

What if I need to apply for FAFSA for fall 2019, spring 2020 or summer 2020?

If a student will be attending college during any of these terms he/she needs to also submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA application, also using 2017 income. 

Will it be difficult to complete the FAFSA?

Completing the FAFSA should now be faster and easier by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Electronically Transfers Your Federal Tax Return Information into your FAFSA.  Below are instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA, or start a new FAFSA at fafsa.gov
  2. In the finances section of the FAFSA, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT. 
  3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in to the IRS to retrieve your tax return information. 
  4. The IRS DRT takes you to the IRS website, where you’ll need to provide your name and other information exactly as you provided it on your tax return. Some information will be prepopulated from your FAFSA form.
  5. At the IRS site, you’ll see a page that indicates that your tax information is available. (You won’t see the actual information.) You can choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, or you can cancel your request and return to the FAFSA site.
  6. If you choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, you’ll find that on the FAFSA site, instead of your tax information being displayed, you’ll see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields. You won’t be able to make changes to those answers. 

The IRS DRT can be used by both students and parents. To learn more about the IRS DRT, visit StudentAid.gov/irsdrt

What if I need assistance with completing the FAFSA?

Students can receive assistance at U Central computer lab area located on the first floor of the Student Services Building on the Edinburg campus and at the Tower on the Brownsville campus. U Central hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:00AM- 5:00PM, Tuesday 8:00AM- 6:00PM and Friday 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.

Can I choose to use 2019 income instead?

Students can only use on the FAFSA the income year that the FAFSA requests. In this case for the 2020-2021, students and parent must use the 2018 income.

What if my income or my parents’ income decreased in the 2019 year?

Students and parents must complete the FAFSA using the required income tax year and if the following income tax year shows a significant decrease student can schedule appointment with a financial aid advisor for a possible income reduction process. The financial aid advisor will review the information and check to see if the income difference would result in the student being eligible for additional financial aid. If the student would become eligible for additional financial aid due to the decrease in income, the financial aid advisor will give student necessary forms and request documents to process an income reduction. Note: A decrease in income from one year to the next does not always mean a student will be eligible for additional aid and if a student’s EFC is already at 0, a student is already at the highest possible eligibility. 

What if I have additional questions?

For questions students can contact us via www.utrgv.edu/askrio, call us at 888-882-4026 or visit us at U Central. 

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