Most mistakes are made because students and/or parents either don't follow or don't understand the application instructions. While few errors will cause you to have to start all over, most errors will significantly delay the processing of either your FAFSA at the federal level, your award at the college level, or both. Please read the instructions that accompany the application. Then, if you are not clear on a question, take the time to call either the Office of Student Financial Aid or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED AID (1-800-433-3243). The extra minutes it takes could save you weeks of delays!
If you do not already have a PIN, apply for one at www.pin.ed.gov. You will need a PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, your parents should also apply for a PIN so they can electronically sign your FAFSA. Parents with multiple students need only apply for one PIN.
Be sure your Social Security number is accurate. The processing center and UW use this number to drive the application process; an error here can cause serious delays.
If you have not completed your first bachelor's degree before the start of the school year then this question should be answered with a "no." Read this carefully.
If you are a dependent student, report the marital status of the parent with whom you live. For example, if your biological parents are divorced and you live with your mother who has remarried, then her status is "married." Given this same scenario, when completing the income information, you will show both your mother's income and her husband's.
The number of people that you list as being part of your household should always include yourself and the number of people who are being supported by that household. An older brother who doesn't live at home, for example, may not be considered part of the household, if he is supporting himself.
All income information must be completed. If the question does not apply to you, please report zero. A blank indicates that you may have overlooked the question. Since we can't be sure what that number should have been, we will request additional information, which delays the process.
Worksheet C asks about portions of your total taxable income which we may exclude, or discount, in calculating you eligibility for aid. For most students, the only income that would be applicable here is the money earned from a Federal Work-Study job during the tax year. A dependent student's parent would report child support paid for children not residing with that parent. These are the two most common exclusions. Call if you have questions - this worksheet can be confusing!
If you or your parents filed the 1040 tax form, do not leave any of these questions blank. Use a zero to indicate "none" or "not applicable."
Releases and Signatures
University of Wyoming's Federal School Code is 003932. For the processing center this is as important as your Social Security number. If you do not list UW's code, then UW will not receive your financial data.
Last, but certainly not least, an unsigned FAFSA is the same as an incomplete form. If your parents' information was required on the form, at least one parent must also sign the form. If you file electronically and are required to mail the signature page, don't fail to do so. The use of a PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA will speed up the processing of the FAFSA.