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ED Releases Highly-Anticipated Verification Guidance

1/9/2019 - (Excerpt) - The Department of Education (ED) released guidance on the verification process on Wednesday that would decrease the burden on students, families, and financial aid administrators and ensure easier access to federal financial aid.

In an electronic announcement, ED wrote that it would allow copies of tax returns and written statements of non-filing to be accepted for verification purposes in lieu of obtaining IRS tax return transcripts and verification of non-filing (VONF) forms for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 application years. This guidance is effective for all verifications conducted on or after January 9, 2019, regardless of FAFSA processing date.

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"Get Transcript Online" and "Get Transcript by Mail" Services, Temporarily Disrupted

1/4/2019 - (Excerpt) - The "Get Transcript Online" and "Get Transcript by Mail" services have both been offline since at least the beginning of the week. NASFAA reached out to federal officials on Monday, but has been unable to determine whether these system outages are casualties of the federal shutdown or truly just part of a larger system maintenance issue. Additional services that require IRS staff processing will most certainly be delayed, if not discontinued, until Congress and the President reach an agreement to fund government operations. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) continues to function, according to ED officials.

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URL For NSLDS Has Changed

10/24/2018 - The National Student Loan Data System has recently updated their URL. If you are trying to access your federal aid history, please use the following link https://nslds.ed.gov to access the site.
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Hurricane Florence Relief

10/3/2018 -  For students and employees of UNCW who were affected by Hurricane Florence, click here to apply for financial assistance, give to those who are facing hardships from the storm, or find other ways to help within your community. 

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Active Phishing Campaign Targeting Student Email Accounts

08/31/2018 (Excerpt) Federal Student Aid (FSA) has identified a malicious phishing campaign that may lead to potential fraud associated with student refunds and aid distributions.

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IRS to Introduce new tax transcripts to better protect taxpayer data

 8/22/2018 (Excerpt) WASHINGTON —  Moving to better protect taxpayer data, the Internal Revenue Service today announced a new format for individual tax transcripts that will redact personally identifiable information from the Form 1040 series.

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Year-Round Pell

Year-Round Pell allows students to receive up to 150% of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so that they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise.  This additional 50% requires that you be at least half-time and this usage goes toward the 600% LEU.

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Credit Check Processing for Borrowers with a "Credit Freeze"

A message from the US Department of Education Common Origination & Disbursement (COD):

10/13/17 (Excerpt) As a result of recent data breach events and heightened security concerns, many consumers are understandably taking steps to protect their personally identifiable information (PII). One of those steps may be placing a “credit freeze” on their credit profile at one or more of the credit bureaus, which prevents further credit activity from occurring without additional consent.

Because a credit check is part of the process when a borrower or endorser completes a Direct PLUS Loan Request or an Endorser Addendum on the StudentLoans.gov website, borrowers or endorsers with an active credit freeze may not be able to fully complete either process and may receive an error message when the credit check is run. The borrower or endorser must remove the credit freeze first; this action cannot be done by the school or Federal Student Aid.

Note: Federal Student Aid can process an inquiry at two of the three main credit bureaus (currently Equifax and TransUnion).  Federal Student Aid is working to include additional messaging on the StudentLoans.gov website to inform borrowers and endorsers that those who have a credit freeze on their credit profile will need to remove it before completing a Direct PLUS Loan Request or the Endorser Addendum. 

Get information about lifting a security freeze.

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IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Available for 2018-19   

The IRS DRT is available to use with the 2018-19 FAFSA form. Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS DRT will not return for the 2017-2018 form. The IRS DRT remains the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form. 

1819 FAFSA screenshot

For your privacy, the tax information you transfer from the IRS into your FAFSA form won’t be visible to you. Instead, you will see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields on fafsa.gov, the IRS DRT web page, and on the Student Aid Report

Also, if you filed an amended tax return, you now may be eligible to use the IRS DRT.

Although the IRS DRT is unavailable to use when completing the 2017‒18 FAFSA form, you can still apply at fafsa.gov and manually enter your tax return information.

Remember: The 2017–18 FAFSA form requires your 2015 tax data. 

Got your tax return or transcript in hand, and not sure what goes where on the FAFSA form? You can still fill out the FAFSA form without access to the IRS DRT.

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Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility (SAP)

Once you’ve filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and received your grant, loan, or work-study funds to help you pay for college or career school, make sure you stay eligible throughout the academic year—and in subsequent years.


2018/19 & 2019/20 FAFSA
Available Now!

Upcoming Calendar/Events

OSFA Calendar of Events

Spring 2019 Chat Tuesday Sessions

View Outreach Calendar 

View University Academic Calendar

University Scholarship Application (Closes March 1, 2019)

Feb 1-28

Financial Aid Awareness Month!

Feb 26 Chat Tuesday: Summer Aid Options
Mar 1 2019-2020 University Scholarship Application CLOSES at 11:59 PM
Mar 1 2019 Summer Aid Application Opens

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