Apply for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017
Recommended submission dates for the FAFSA
For maximum consideration of financial aid, we recommend you submit yourby the following dates:
- March 1, 2016 for all students new to Penn State
- April 15, 2016 for all students returning to Penn State
- May 1, 2016 for Pennsylvania residents who are interested in applying for the Pennsylvania State Grant*
*If you are a resident of a state other than Pennsylvania, please verify if you are eligible for a state grant and what your deadline is with
Please review the Federal and Penn State financial aid eligibility requirements.
We highly recommend you and/or your parents use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to view and securely transfer your federal tax information directly from the IRS to your FAFSA to save time and increase the accuracy of the FAFSA.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for the FAFSA in early February of 2016. Your federal tax information will be available to transfer to the FAFSA if you have filed your taxes and allowed:
- Three weeks for electronically filed federal tax returns
- Eight weeks for paper returns filed via U.S. mail
You should not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you and/or your parents did any one of the following:
- Filed an amended 2015 federal tax return (1040X)
- Did not file a 2015 federal tax return
- Are married but filed separately
- Are separated from your spouse but filed jointly
- Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
Because the 2016-17 FAFSA is available any time after January 1, 2016, if you are submitting your FAFSA prior to filing your federal tax return, you may use estimated tax information or manually enter your tax information. However, once you have filed your taxes, you should update your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or entering your actual final tax figures.
Requirements and Verification
To complete the FAFSA, you and/or your parents will need to:
- Enter your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card (include suffixes and your middle name/initial)
- Enter your Social Security number
- Provide your parent(s) name and social security number exactly as it appears on their Social Security card (including suffixes and middle name/initial).
- Provide your valid driver’s license number (if you have one)
- Enter your date of birth
- Provide your alien registration number, for eligible non-citizens
- Mark your individual status information (marital status, veteran, etc.)
- Supply 2015 federal tax information, including adjusted gross income, earnings from work, income tax paid, etc.
- Insert Penn State’s federal school code: 003329
We may be required to contact you to request documentation or have you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to verify your FAFSA information. Please respond quickly to any and all requests by the Office of Student Aid to ensure timely disbursement of your student aid.
Who is my parent when I fill out the FAFSA?
Dependent students are required to provide their parent(s) tax information on the FAFSA. For reporting purposes, "parent" means your legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person determined to be your legal parent. This flowchart from Federal Student Aid will help you to determine who to report as your parent on the FAFSA.