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How to File the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application used to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. 

U.S. Citizens and permanent residents should complete a FAFSA each year they are enrolled at least part-time at Drexel. 

Prospective Students and Applicants

Tips for Completing the FAFSA

  • Starting with the 2017–2018 academic year, the FAFSA will be available to complete on October 1, 2016.
  • The FAFSA will be based upon your family's financial information from two prior years ago (i.e., the 2017–2018 FAFSA will use 2015 tax year information). 
  • The FAFSA can be completed online
  • You (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) will need to create an FSA ID in order to complete the FAFSA. Find out more information about the FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • It is important to complete the FAFSA by Drexel's priority deadline in order to be considered for all types of financial aid.
  • You and your family should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to complete the FAFSA. This tool allows tax information to be transferred directly from the IRS to your FAFSA, ensuring the accuracy of the information and reducing the number of questions a student/parent must answer. More information can be found on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool website.
  • Drexel's Federal School code for completing the FAFSA is 003256.
  • If you have any questions, you can contact a FAFSA customer service representative at 1.800.4.FED.AID (1.800.433.3243).

Review Your Student Aid Report

The Department of Education typically takes 3–5 business days to fully process your FAFSA once you have submitted a complete application. Once your FAFSA is fully processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will indicate any issues with your application and your potential next steps. If there are any errors or issues that you need to resolve, you will need to follow the instructions listed on the SAR to correct them. Your Student Aid Report will also include your expected family contribution as calculated by the Department of Education.

The information that is reported on your SAR is also sent to the schools you listed on your FAFSA. Drexel University should receive your FAFSA data at the same time you receive your SAR.

Important Information for Transfer Students Enrolling in the 2016–2017 Academic Year

You and your family should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to complete the FAFSA. This tool allows tax information to be transferred directly from the IRS to your FAFSA, ensuring the accuracy of the information and reducing the number of questions a student/parent must answer. More information can be found on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool website.

Priority Deadlines

In order to be considered for most types of financial aid programs, domestic students must complete the FAFSA by the deadlines listed below:

  2016–2017 Academic Year 2017–2018 Academic Year 
New Freshman Applicants February 15, 2016  February 15, 2017
New Transfer Applicants Rolling, see priority deadline Rolling, see priority deadline 
New Graduate Applicants March 1, 2016 March 1, 2017  

Continuing Students 

Important Changes to the 2017–2018 FAFSA 

Starting with the 2017–2018 FAFSA, the Department of Education has made changes to the process. In order to make completing the FAFSA easier for you and to ensure better accuracy of the information, the following changes have been made:

  • The FAFSA will be available to complete earlier; you and your family will be able to start your 2017–2018 FAFSA on October 1, 2016. 
  • The financial information that is on the FAFSA will be based on two tax years prior; for example, the 2017–2018 FAFSA will ask for information about the 2015 tax year.

For more information about this update, please refer to Federal Student Aid's FAFSA Changes for 2017–2018 Announcement

2016–2017 FAFSA

  • If the tax documentation you need to complete the FAFSA is not ready before Drexel's priority deadline, you should complete an initial FAFSA:
    • Select "Will File" as the Tax Filing Status for yourself/spouse and/or your parents.
    • Use estimated information to answer all tax questions. It is important that you estimate carefully; if your actual information is significantly different from your estimates, it may have a substantial impact to your financial aid eligibility.
  • You will need to update the tax documentation on your application once the necessary taxes are filed. Any financial aid Drexel offers you will not be considered final or allowed to pay to your account until your tax status and information have been updated.

Priority Deadlines

In order to be considered for most types of financial aid programs, domestic students must complete the FAFSA by the deadlines listed below:

2016–2017 Academic Year 2017–2018 Academic Year 
March 1, 2016 March 1, 2017