Office of Student Financial Assistance – The City University of New York (2024)

How could I get help with filling out my FAFSA?

You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) with questions about the FAFSA on the Web or paper application process. Online help for completing the FAFSA is available here. Help text is available for every question on the FAFSA if you apply online using FAFSA on the web at studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. You can also get free live help online at this web site.

When do I fill out the FAFSA?

For the 2023-24 year, you will be able to apply between Oct. 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. However, there are a few federal student aid programs that have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can once the FAFSA is available for the year you’ll be attending school. The 2024-25 FAFSA is available now.

What should I (the student) do if my family has special circ*mstances that aren’t mentioned in the application?

Talk to your financial aid administrator in your schools’ financial aid office. If your family’s circ*mstances have changed from the base year due to loss of employment, loss of benefits, death or divorce, your school may decide to adjust data elements used to calculate your Student Aid Index (SAI). The adjustment might increase your eligibility for student aid.

If I live with an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, should that relative’s income be reported instead of parental information?

Only if the relative is your adoptive parent. Dependent students can be considered dependent only on their parent(s) and must report only parental information on the FAFSA. You must report any cash support given by relatives, but not in-kind support (such as food and housing) from relatives.

What if I live with a girlfriend or boyfriend who pays the rent?

You should not report any information for a friend or roommate unless the two of you are actually married or are considered to have a common-law marriage under state law. You must report any cash support given by the friend as untaxed income but should not report in-kind support (such as food). You would have to report as untaxed income the rent the roommate paid on your behalf.

When is student aid considered income?

Generally, grants and scholarships that do not exceed tuition, fees, books, and required supplies are not considered income. Student aid is considered income when it’s taxable student grant and scholarship aid such as fellowships and assistantships which are reported to the IRS in your parents or your adjusted gross income.

If I am in the National Guard or am an active duty military member, am I considered a veteran for purposes of filling out the FAFSA?

You are considered a veteran for the purpose of filling out the FAFSA if you have engaged in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard) or are a National Guard or Reserve enlistee who was called to active duty for other than state or training purposes, or were a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies and were released under a condition other than dishonorable.

If you are not on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, but will be a veteran by June 30, 2024, you are considered a veteran for FAFSA purposes.

What if I’m a dependent student but my parents are divorced or separated?

You report the parent with whom you lived the most during the 12 months preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support during the preceding 12 months or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given.

If the parent you receive financial support from was a single parent who is now married, or the parent was divorced or widowed but has remarried, your stepparents financial information is required on the FAFSA. This does not mean your stepparent is obligated to give financial assistance to you, but his or her income and assets represent significant information about the family’s resources.

I am entering financial information for my mother and stepfather on the FAFSA. Should I give my father’s Social Security Number (SSN) and last name, or my stepfather’s?

You should provide the SSN and last name of the same person or people for whom you are reporting financial information. In this case, provide the SSNs and names of your mother and stepfather.

What should you do if the parent with whom you live is remarried and the stepparent refuses to supply information?

If you are a dependent student and your parent is remarried, the stepparent’s information must be included or you will not be considered for federal student financial aid. If you believe that your situation is unique or unusual other than the stepparent’s simple refusal to provide the requested information, you should discuss the matter further with your financial aid administrator.

How does a family decide who should be counted in the household size?

Anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support from a dependent student’s parents or an independent student and spouse may be counted in the household size. For example, a sibling who is over 24 but still receives the majority of his/her support from the parents can be included. Siblings who are dependent (as defined by the FAFSA) as of the date you apply for aid are also included, regardless of whether they receive more than 50% of their support from the parents. Any other person who resides in the household and receives more than 50% support from the parents may also be counted, as long as they will continue to reside with your parents and the support is expected to continue through June 30, 2024. An unborn child who will be born during the award year may also be counted in the household size.

Household size and tax exemptions are not necessarily the same. Exemptions look at the previous year or tax year and household size refers to the school year for which the student is applying for aid.

My parents separated four months ago. I live with my mother. My parents filed a joint tax return and claimed me as an exemption. Do I report both their incomes, or just my mother’s?

Report only your mother’s income and asset information because you lived with her the most during the past 12 months. Use a W-2 Form or other record(s) to determine her share of the income reported and taxes paid on the tax return.

If I (the student) am separated but filed a joint tax return, how is the information reported?

You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and taxes paid.

Who qualifies to be counted in the number in college?

Any person (other than your parents) who is counted in the household and will be attending any term of the academic year at least half time. The person must be working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized education credential at a postsecondary school eligible to participate in the federal student aid programs. You (the student) need not be enrolled half time to be counted in the number in college.

Office of Student Financial Assistance  –  The City University of New York (2024)

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