Applying for Federal Aid

To be considered for any federal aid program, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Enroll as a degree/certificate-seeking student.
  • Possess a high school diploma, GED, or have completed a home school program.
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • Register with the U.S. Selective Service System if you were born a male.
  • Have no disqualifying drug convictions while receiving federal student aid.
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a repayment of a federal grant.

For helpful hints in completing the FAFSA, please review these 2018-19 FAFSA instructions for: fall 2018, winter 2019 or summer 2019 (based on 2016 income). OR review these 2019-20 FAFSA instructions for: fall 2019, winter 2020 or summer 2020 (based on 2017 income).

How to Apply

If you need assistance completing your FAFSA, stop into the Enrollment Center and a Financial Aid Specialist will be available to help. You can also refer to the how-to video for a quick tutorial.

  1. Create your FSA ID to gain access to all federal aid websites. View this video to learn how to create your FSA ID#.
    • We recommend that you use a permanent personal email address rather than a school email that will expire after a time.
    • If parent information is part of your FAFSA, your parent will need to create and use their own unique FSA ID as well. Only one FSA ID may be associated per email address.
  2. Complete the FAFSA.
    • GRCC’s school code: 002267.
       

Information needed for the FAFSA

If you are a dependent, this information is also needed from your parents to complete the 2018-19 FAFSA:

  • FSA ID for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student). Don’t have one yet? Create your FSA ID now.
  • Social Security Number for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • 2016 W-2 forms or other records of money earned for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • 2016 Federal Income Tax Return for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • Spouse’s 2016 Federal Income Tax Return (if married).
  • You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) within the FAFSA to retrieve your tax information for 2016 tax year. 
  • 2016 untaxed income records – Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records if any, for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • 2016 bank statements for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • 2016 business and farm records along with stock, bonds and other investment records for you and your parent (if you are a dependent student).
  • Alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. Citizen).

Note:  For the 2019-20 FAFSA (fall 2019, winter 2020, summer 2020), increase all documents by one year and use 2017 income information. 

 


After You Submit Your FAFSA

  • Look over your Student Aid Report (SAR) carefully to make sure it is correct. You will receive your SAR from the Department of Education.  This information will be used to determine your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, student loans, and most other types of aid.
  • Use your Online Center My Financial Aid webpage to check your:
    • Financial aid status and awarded funds.
      • If a FAFSA has been filed and released to GRCC, status information will be provided here.
    • Items that still need to be completed will appear on your "Tasks" tile, and details will be shared on how you can provide that information.
  • Refer to the Important Dates for when funds will be available in the book store to purchase books and supplies against.

If you are selected for verification

The federal government selects some students for verification to ensure the information provided on the FAFSA is correct. This process requires students to provide documents that support the information entered on the form.

Helpful resources for this process:

  • The information you need to complete this process is found on your Online Center "Tasks" tile.
  • Forms you may need to complete are available on our website. Be careful that you are in the correct academic year for the forms you need. 

Having Trouble Obtaining Your Federal Tax Return Transcript?

Effective January 9, 2019, students and parents unable to obtain federal tax return transcripts needed to satisfy income verification requirements may now submit signed federal income tax returns (ex: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) that were previously submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. Signed 2016 federal income tax returns are required for 2018-19 FAFSA income verification. Signed 2017 federal income tax returns are required for 2019-20 FAFSA income verification.

Unable to Obtain a Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS?

If you are a student or parent who did not file a federal income tax return for the applicable tax year*, were not required to do so, and have been unable to obtain a Verification of Non-filing letter from the IRS, you may provide the following alternate documentation:

  • A signed statement explaining that you attempted, but were unable to obtain a Verification of Non-filing letter from the IRS, you did not file a federal income tax return for the applicable tax year, and you were not required by federal tax law to file one.

  • Documentation of your attempt to request a verification of non-filing letter, such as a print screen showing that the IRS Get Transcript Tool is unavailable.

  • If you were employed, a list of your employers for the applicable year and the amount of income you earned from each employment source.

  • Copies of all IRS W-2 forms or an equivalent document for each source of employment income.

*Note: 2016 tax information is required for 2018-19 income verification and 2017 tax information is required for 2019-20 income verification.

For students selected for verification for the 2018-2019 academic year, the school must have received all required verification documents and a valid SAR or ISIR (complete and accurate) no later than 120 days after the student’s last day of enrollment, or September 21, 2019, whichever is earlier.