Missouri State University
Office of Student Financial Aid News

Deadline to submit paperwork for 2016-2017

It’s not too late to get financial aid for 2016-2017 but you will have to act fast!

Some students’ FAFSAs are chosen by the Dept. of Education to be “verified,” meaning our office will need additional paperwork before we can pay any financial aid. If you took spring classes, the deadline to submit the paperwork is Friday, May 5th. After that point it will be difficult for us to determine how much and what kind of financial aid you’re eligible for.

Often we will need your tax documents, and with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool down this could take up to two weeks. Start gathering this information ASAP if you’ve not already.

Check out the full 2016-2017 verification calendar on our website.

 

~OSFA

(417) 836-5262, or FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu

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Update on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been deactivated until further notice. Yes, we’re sad about it. Sad enough to want sad trombone music.

Citing data security concerns, the U.S. Department of Education and the IRS have disabled the DRT until additional security measures can be put into place. The outage is expected to last until October when the 2018-2019 FAFSA becomes available. But does that mean the FAFSA is now harder to file? Well, maybe not.

While the DRT can make filing the FAFSA easier it is certainly not required. Instead, simply enter your 2015 tax information into the FAFSA manually using a copy of your tax return, and don’t wait until the DRT becomes available again to file.

For many students this is the only time your tax records will be needed, but for the (“lucky?”) students selected for verification, our office may still need your 2015 tax transcript, as well as your parents’ if their information is on the FAFSA. If that’s the case you can use any of the options below to obtain this information. PRO TIP: Downloading a copy is quickest.

  1. Download tax information at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  2. Request information be mailed at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  3. Submit IRS Form 4506-T to the IRS
  4. Call the IRS Transcript Request Line (toll-free): 1-800-908-9946
  5. Schedule an appointment with a local IRS office. Long wait times are expected, so consider one of the previously mentioned options first.

 

The IRS issues guidance on the DRT outage

Springfield, MO IRS Office

844-545-5640

2937 S. Claremont Ave, Bldg A

Springfield, MO 65804

 

That we know of, MSU’s records always have been and remain secure, and anybody affected by a possible IRS data breach will be contacted by the IRS directly.

 

 

As always, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions. (417) 836-5262, or FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu.

~OSFA

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Special Circumstance Application for 2017-2018 Available

U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Are you a “victim of soicumstance?”

 

We understand that your 2017-2018 FAFSA – which uses 2015 income – may not reflect what’s really going on financially. You have the chance to tell us what your current financial situation is with the Application for Special Circumstance Consideration. Here’s the skinny:

 

 

 

  1. The deadline to submit the application is March 31, 2018
  2. A new application must be submitted for 2017-2018, even if you applied in 2016-2017 and your circumstances have not changed
  3. You can apply for multiple circumstances listed on the form
  4. There are two versions: one for Dependent students (if you had to put your parents on your FAFSA, you are a dependent student), and one for Independent students (without parents on their FAFSA)
  5. This application is used to adjust federal and state need-based aid. It is not used to adjust institutional scholarships
  6. If your application is approved, any changes can be applied to both your Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 financial aid as long as you are enrolled for both semesters
  7. If your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is already zero, your application will not be considered

 

What’s new in 2017-2018?

  1. Simple, easy-to-read list of required documents for each category
  2. Changes in 2016 or 2017 wages or employment no longer have to be involuntary
  3. In some cases, debt cancellation and one-time incomes will be considered
  4. Expenses for a sibling in private school or a parent in college will be reviewed if paid during the 2016 calendar year (January to December), not academic year as before

 

Questions? Let us know. FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu, or (417) 836-5262.

~OSFA

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FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage

The U.S. Department of Education issued a statement on Thursday informing families that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been temporarily suspended due to an ongoing effort to ensure the security of private information.

The DRT is a feature of the FAFSA, the universal application for federal financial aid, intended to make filing the application faster by transferring tax information directly from the IRS database to a student’s FAFSA. The DRT is intended to assist students and is not required in order for a student to complete their FAFSA. Students and their families can still complete and submit the application using information from their 2015 tax return. No other part of the application has been affected. Missouri’s FAFSA deadline for state aid eligibility is April 1st, and students should not wait for the DRT to come back online before filing their FAFSA.

The IRS expects the DRT to be unavailable for several weeks. In the event that a student needs to submit a tax return transcript to their financial aid office for verification, one may be requested in a few different ways:

 

  1. Request a transcript online (download) at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  2. Request a transcript be mailed at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  3. Submit IRS Form 4506-T to the IRS
  4. Call the IRS Transcript Request Line (toll-free): 1-800-908-9946

Questions about the FAFSA and the Data Retrieval Tool may be directed at the Office of Student Financial Aid.

 

Office of Student Financial Aid

901 S National Avenue

Springfield, MO 65802

(417) 836-5262

Fax: (417) 836-8392

FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu

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Deadline Coming: SAP Appeals

The deadline to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal is Friday March 31st. The appeal must be complete, including the appeal form, the academic plan with your advisor’s signature, and any supporting documents you think will help your case. If approved, your appeal allows you to receive financial aid for the Spring semester.

Download the SAP Appeal form

Download the SAP Academic Plan

 

3 ways to submit your appeal

EMAIL: FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu

FAX: (417) 836-8392

MAIL/IN PERSON
Office of Student Financial Aid
901 S National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897

 

Please allow up to 4 weeks to process. Questions? Call us at (417) 836-5262
~OSFA

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SCAM ALERT!!!

scam_alert5 Students are being targeted by companies trying to profit from the current changes in Washington. Don’t fall for it.

 

Recently, a third-party debt relief company, claiming to be the Department of Education, has been leaving voicemail messages for student borrowers claiming that they must act immediately to qualify for student loan forgiveness before the program is eliminated. A transcript of the voicemail follows:

 

“This message is from the Department of Education. In regards to Donald Trump becoming President, all programs for student loan forgiveness will be stopped immediately as soon as he takes office in January. In order for you to qualify, you must apply within the next 24 hours or you will not be able to have your student loan payment reduced. Please contact us at 888.307.0680. The number again is 888.307.3680. Once again you must get enrolled within the next 24 hours.”

Yeah…no.

If you received a call like this, it is a scam. The actual Department of Education offers several options to help Repay (or in limited cases, forgive), your federal student loans. You may also consider grouping multiple loans into one larger one through a process called “Consolidation,” although this may not be ideal for everyone. But the Department of Education does not call to initiate these processes.

~The Office of Student Financial Aid

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School Cost Got You Down?

krabs-loves-money-5We get it. But maybe you could end up paying less next year?

Admitted students have until March 1st to complete this General and Department Scholarship Application for 2017-2018 Foundation scholarships. It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergrad or graduate, in-state or out-of-state. It’s free to apply, and you just need access to your My.MissouriState account first.

On average, about 1 in 4 students who apply receive some type of foundation scholarship, and last year we awarded approximately 1,200 of them! The average scholarship is about $1,000, and students are notified in June if they are selected.

 

And for once, you don’t have to complete a FAFSA to apply for these scholarships.

As always, we’re here for you. Call us at (417) 836-5262, Tweet @MSU_FinAid, or send your questions to FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu

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Changes to the FAFSA: What you need to know

As the 2017-2018 school year approaches, students and their families need to know about changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is important for a few reasons, as it’s a pathway to receiving several forms of financial aid including grants, loans and work study. More information is available from the office of financial aid. Here’s a rundown of what’s new.

Submit your application soonerStudents at Welcome Weekend

Students can file a 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016. This is a permanent change and will allow students to complete their applications before the start of the new year.

Sending income information is easier

Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and families will report their 2015 income information. This is a switch from the past, when the application required financial information from the previous year. That means most income information should not change from students’ 2016-2017 FAFSA.

The most important part is to file as early as possible, as priority deadlines for state-funded programs such as the Access Missouri grant is now Feb. 1, 2017 and Missouri State’s deadline for limited-availability funding was pushed up to match.

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