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Applying for Financial Aid

Paying for college can be difficult. Let us help.

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only application used for financial aid at Westfield State University. All funds awarded by Westfield State University require refiling the FAFSA every year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important application in determining eligibility for financial aid!

The 2017-2018 FAFSA is still available. The FAFSA for 2018-2019 will become available October 1, 2017. The online FAFSA has gotten a lot easier over the last few years. Thanks to improvements like skip logic, where you only see questions that are applicable to you; and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows you to import your tax information from the IRS directly into the FAFSA application, the FAFSA takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Just make sure to take your time so you don’t make one of these 11 common FAFSA mistakes! We advise students to complete the FAFSA every year before February 15 in order to ensure processing before the March 1 priority deadline.

Before you complete the FAFSA, it is important to obtain an FSA ID

  • You can obtain an FSA ID here and at certain ED websites
  • Your FSA ID username will never expire, but your FSA ID password will expire every 18 months
  • It can take a couple of days for an FSA ID to become active, so plan ahead

Then, go to www.fafsa.gov and complete the FAFSA.  Note the .gov, and avoid any other sites. You should never have to pay to submit your FAFSA!

We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically import your tax data into your FAFSA. Click here for more detailed guidance on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

If a FAFSA is selected for verification, and the family did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide income data, a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS will be required. Be sure to request a Tax Return Transcript as opposed to a Tax Account Transcript. For information on how to request an IRS tax transcript, go to Requesting a Tax Transcript.

Certain filers will not be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. These filers should manually enter their tax information. You will be unable to use the Data Retrieval Tool if:

  • Your marital status changed after end of the year
  • Your tax filing status is 'Married, Filing Separately'
  • You filed an Amended Tax Return
  • You filed a Foreign Tax Return
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN) as opposed to a Social Security Number.
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return.

NEW FOR 2017-2018 - Parents and students who indicate on the FAFSA that they will not/did not file a 2015 tax return will be required to provide documentation from the IRS to support their non-filer status. You may be able to request the Verification of Non-filing Letter at www.irs.gov. If you are not able to use this tool, you must request the letter using the 4506-T form.

Students and Parents then sign the FAFSA electronically using their FSA IDs, and submit.

Be sure to include the Westfield State University Title IV Financial Aid Code of 002189.

Students will receive an email from the Department of Education confirming their submission and a second email with their Student Aid Report (SAR).  Students should review the SAR for any information or requests made by the Department of Education.

Return to www.fafsa.gov only to make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA information.  Any time a change is made to the FAFSA information, the student will receive a new SAR.  Review the new SAR for any information discrepancies or requests made of you by the Department of Education.

Your FAFSA information will be sent to Westfield State University.  The college will contact you with any requests for information.  If you are chosen by the Department of Education or by Westfield State for a process called verification, the Financial Aid Office will contact you and ask that additional information be forwarded directly to the school.  You are not required to submit any verification documentation to Westfield State University unless requested to do so.  If information is requested, please provide it as soon as possible.  If the necessary documents for the verification process are not submitted, you will be ineligible to receive any Federal funding, including Federal student loans.