Applying for Financial Aid
Three Easy Steps to an Affordable Education
Step 1: Submit Your Financial Aid Application (FAFSA)
Submitting an application for financial aid is easy. Holy Cross College only requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be completed to be considered for financial aid. You must be a United States citizen or permanent resident to qualify for any Federal or State of Indiana (Indiana residents only) funded grants and loans .
Financial aid applicants applying for the 2014-2015 academic year can complete their aid application online at www.fafsa.gov. The College Code for Holy Cross College is 007263. Transfer applicants who have already submitted the FAFSA to another school(s) can simply have the data electronically transmitted to the Holy Cross Office of Financial Aid. This is accomplished by returning to the online FAFSA and entering our College Code.
Beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, financial aid offices will no longer be able to accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA Verification purposes.
There is an easier, faster way to provide tax information for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When completing the FAFSA you will be prompted to enter your PIN and link to the IRS web site. The retrieval process will display your tax information and allow you to transfer it to your FAFSA. Our office encourages everyone to file their 2013 income tax returns early in order to retrieve their tax data from the IRS onto their FAFSA application. Families who do not use the IRS Data Retrieval process will be required to submit an IRS tax transcript directly from the IRS to complete the federal verification process if your file is selected for verification.
Early submission of the FAFSA is strongly recommended in order to receive priority processing and the maximum amount of aid.
Aid applications are not considered complete until the FAFSA is e-signed. Applications for "dependent" students must have both the student and parent's e-signature. Students considered "independent" need only ensure they e-sign the FAFSA. In order to e-sign the FAFSA, you must apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. Please retain your PIN in a secure place as you will need it for e-signing each year you apply for financial aid.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR INDIANA RESIDENTS - If you are a resident of Indiana, please keep in mind the requirement to have your FAFSA application received by the State (SSACI) by March 10th 2014. Therefore, it is very important that the income tax for you and your parent/s are filed much earlier this year in order for this data to be incorporated into the IRS database for you to retrieve it onto your FAFSA application and have it available to the state by March 10 , 2014. For Indiana State Grants: The 2014-2015 FAFSA must be received at the federal processor no later than March 10, 2014 and must be error free by May 15, 2014. Not filing the FAFSA by this date could result in the loss of thousands of State-funded financial aid dollars that you otherwise would have been qualified to receive. To learn more about SSACI grants, visit www.in.gov/ssaci.
2014-15 FAFSA & IRS Data Retrieval Process
Use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when completing the FAFSA online (www.fafsa.gov). FAFSA provides instructions to link to the IRS while completing the FAFSA. Certain data elements such as AGI and taxes paid will be entered for you on the FAFSA. The data is considered "verified" for FAFSA purposes.
- Students and parents should apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is an electronic signature necessary for quick completion of the online process. To apply go to: www.PIN.ed.gov. If you have one previously set up, you may use that.
- The Federal Tax Return must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) and 6 -8 weeks (if filing paper return) before using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process to allow the IRS time to process the return.
- Our office may still collect additional Verification Worksheet and/or other document to verify data not provided by the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process (ex: copies of W-2 and 1099 forms, institutional verification forms for such items as household size, number in college, and untaxed income.)
- Certain tax filers may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval and will need to request an IRS Tax Transcript
- To successfully use this option you must:
- Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- You will be not be able to use this option if:
- Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year.
- You filed married filing separately.
- You filed an amended return.
- You filed a foreign tax return.
- To successfully use this option you must:
Step 2: Verification
If your FAFSA application is selected for verification by the US department of Education, you will have to submit an official tax transcript to us.
- An official tax transcript will be required for tax filers not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process or who make changes to FAFSA data after using this process.
- You will also be required to verify the following data elements:
- Child support paid, the child(ren) for who it is paid, the person to whom it is paid.
- Food Stamp Benefits.
The Office of Financial Aid appreciates your patience as we implement this new requirement of the U.S. Department of Education.
How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to request a tax transcript from IRS and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.
Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted and used for verification process.
Three ways to request your Tax Transcript: by phone, online, or by mail. Please make sure you request an Official Tax Transcript. DO NOT request for a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.
To order by phone:
- Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, then select the following prompts:
- Option 2 (Personal Income Taxes)
- Option 1 (Tax History)
- Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
- Enter and verify Social Security number (if joint return both SSN's required)
- Enter and verify number of street address
- Press 2 for Tax Transcript and indicate which year (i.e. 2013)
To order online:
- Go to www.irs.gov, then select the following:
- Click Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript located in the left-hand column
- Click Order a Transcript under Step 3
- Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code
- Click Continue
- Select Transcript for Tax Year (i.e. 2013)
- Click Continue
To order by mail:
- Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return)
- Form 4506-T is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf.
- Mail to the address indicated on the form
Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.
Step 3: Review Your Award Letter
An award letter will be scanned and e-mailed to you as soon as you have been admitted to the college and your financial aid file is ready. A hard copy of the letter will be simultaneously mailed to your home address. Financial award letters will be sent starting March 1, 2014.
The award letter will outline, by semester, the types and amounts of financial aid you will receive at Holy Cross College. Depending upon your financial need, your financial aid package may include "Gift Aid" (Federal, State or institutional grants and/or scholarships) ,"Self-Help Aid" (Federal loans, Work Study), or a combination of both. Be sure to review your award letter carefully and contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any questions.
Your award letter will also contain a letter copy on which you must indicate that you are accepting or declining all or some of the awards offered. You should return this letter copy to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible in order to officially accept or decline your financial aid awards.
If you are offered Self-Help Aid (Federal Direct Loans that you must repay), you must apply for these loans if you choose to accept them. You must also complete an Entrance Counseling Session and sign a Master Promissory Note in order for your loan(s) to be disbursed to your student account. Instructions on how to complete these steps will be included in your financial aid award letter.
If Federal Work Study (FWS) is offered, you must apply for any positions you are interested in obtaining and also submit a series of employment-related forms. The offer of FWS is no guarantee of employment as positions are filled on a first come, first served basis.