We hope you find these tips helpful in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- Apply early and apply annually. To be considered for financial aid, students must apply each year. Visit our Apply for Federal and State Financial Aid webpage for detailed instructions on how to apply for financial aid at SUNY Poly. SUNY Poly's recommended FAFSA filing deadline is February 1.
- Use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool. From within the FAFSA, the IRS Data Retrieval (IDR) functionality allows students and their parents to retrieve information from their filed federal income tax return and automatically insert that data into the FAFSA. The FAFSA will include a brief series of questions to determine whether an individual is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are eligible to use IDR, please do so as this could reduce our processing time if you are selected for verification.
Note: It will take up to 3 weeks for IRS income tax information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic tax filers and up to 8 weeks for paper IRS income tax return filers.
- Assemble your documents. The FAFSA will ask for specific information about you and your parents (if a dependent student). Having these materials assembled will significantly reduce the amount of time needed to complete the online FAFSA application.
- Estimated income figures can be used if your federal income tax return has not yet been filed. If you and/or your parents have not yet filed their federal income tax return, you may submit the FAFSA with estimated income figures. Once your federal income tax return(s) are on file with the IRS, please access your online FAFSA to “Make A Correction”. You can see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA by retrieving information submitted to the IRS. If you are not eligible to use IDR, you will need to update your FAFSA figures to match those reported on your federal income tax return.
- New York State Residents can apply for TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) from within the FAFSA. From the FAFSA submission confirmation page, select the link that says “File Your TAP Application Now”.
- Monitor your email. Important information will be sent to you after you complete your FAFSA – including your Student Aid Report (SAR). You may be instructed from Federal Student Aid (who administers the FAFSA) to submit additional information to the Financial Aid Office. It will be important to respond to these email promptly as it may impact your financial aid eligibility.
- Additional resources for completing the FAFSA are online:
• FAFSA Overview
• FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status