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How to Apply

There are two steps involved in starting your financial aid application:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Submit the Simmons Student Information Form

The 2014 - 2015 academic year consists of the following semesters:

  • Summer 2014
  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2015

If you are applying for the 2013-2014 academic year (Summer 2013, Fall 2013, and Spring 2014), you can download the 2013-2014 Student Information Form on the Forms and Publications section of our website.


New Student Eligibility Considerations

To be eligible for financial aid:

  • You must have been accepted to a degree-seeking program;
  • You are enrolled at least half-time per semester as defined by the Office of the Registrar;
  • You must not be in default on a Federal Stafford or Perkins Loan or need to pay a federal grant
    overpayment;
  • You are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • You are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

New applicants should complete their financial aid application concurrently with their admission application or as soon as possible after January 1.  


Step 1: Complete Your FAFSA

It's all about FAFSA: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In order to be considered for financial aid, you must complete and submit your FAFSA. The information you report on the FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your or your family's financial position. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

Priority consideration is given to those students whose FAFSA is received by March 1. We recommend filing your FAFSA by February 15th to meet this priority deadline. If you miss this priority deadline, do not worry. You can still submit a FAFSA after March 1 and you will be considered for financial aid.

What Information Do I Need to Complete the FAFSA Accurately?

We recommend having the following handy to complete your FAFSA accurately:
  • Social Security number
  • W-2 forms and other records of earnings
  • Your Federal Income Tax Return (and that of your spouse, if you are married)
  • Your parents' Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
  • Any foreign tax return or tax return from Puerto Rico
  • Untaxed income records — Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veteran's benefits records, etc.
  • Bank statements
  • Business and investment mortgage information; Business and farm records; and Stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Alien registration card, if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • The Simmons College code: 00220800

Submitting Your FAFSA

You can complete your FAFSA by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov.  We highly recommend filing your FAFSA electronically to expedite processing. 

Alternatively, you can get a download a paper FAFSA from the FAFSA website.

The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible, even if you are still waiting to receive an acceptance decision from Simmons College. You are allowed to use estimated income information if you or your family have not yet submitted tax returns for 2013. If you estimate income information on the FAFSA, you will update the FAFSA later in the year with actual figures once the tax return has been filed.

FAFSAs must be signed electronically using a U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you do not already have a PIN, you can apply for one now at www.pin.ed.gov. Be sure to maintain a copy of this PIN for your records. You will need to use it to make changes to your FAFSA, or to file again in future years. If you are a dependent student, your parents should also apply for a PIN so they can electronically sign your FAFSA.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available for online FAFSA submission and is accessible through the FAFSA website at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The DRT allows FAFSA applicants and parents the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA.

All applicants and parents of dependent applicants who indicate they have filed or will file a 2013 tax return will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report and/or update their income information on the FAFSA.

We have provided instructions below, but you may also want to refer to the video posted by the federal government on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W47_YTRVYD4

Instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

STEP 1 - Choose "Start Here" and log into your FAFSA application and select "Make a Correction."

 

STEP 2 - Under the "Financial Information" tab, you will be asked a series of questions to determine whether or not you (or your parents) are eligible to use this tool.

 

STEP 3 - If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be prompted to enter your PIN and then select "Link to IRS." A box will appear stating taht you are leaving the FAFSA on the Web. Click OK.

 

STEP 4 - Once you are connected to the IRS.gov site, review your information for accuracy, select the "Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA" at the bottom, and select "Transfer Now."

STEP 5 - You will then be redirected back to the FAFSA. E-sign your FAFSA to submit the updated FAFSA information for processing.

How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS?

Before requesting a tax transcript, we strongly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to verify tax information if possible. However, if you have no choice but to request the tax transcript, here are instructions.

There are several ways to request your Federal Tax Return Transcript. We recommend option 1 below because it is the quickest:

  1. Order Online at www.irs.gov , then select the following:
    1. Click "Get Transcript for Your Tax Records" located on the right-hand side under Tools.
    2. Click "Get Transcript Online" button. 
    3. Sign in to your IRS account or create an account. 
    4. Once signed in, on the "Get Transcript" page and select "Higher Education/Student Aid." 
    5. Under "Return Transcript," select the appropriate year for the tax transcript requested by Student Financial Services. For the 2014-2015 FAFSA year, you will need to select "2013" as the tax return year.
    6. A PDF of your Tax Return Transcript will open in a new tab/window of your web browser. Save this PDF and email to Student Financial Services (sfs@simmons.edu), or print out a copy and either mail or fax it to Student Financial Services. 
  2. Call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040, then select the following:
    1. Option 2 (Personal Income Taxes)
    2. Option 1 (Tax History)
    3. Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
    4. Enter & verify SSN
    5. Enter & verify number of street address
    6. Press 2 for Tax Transcript and Indicate what year is requested (2013)
  3. Order by Mail
    1. IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
    2. Download the form from the IRS website (http://www.irs.gov).
    3. Complete lines 1 — 4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file. 
    4. On line 6, enter the requested filing year.
    5. The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
    6. Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or fax number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
    7. Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request.

      NOTE: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript. 

The Federal Student Aid Information Center

You can get information from the Center for free by calling: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can also write to the Federal Student Aid Information Center at the following address:

Federal Student Aid Information Center
P.O. Box 84
Washington, DC 20044-0084

Note: You must re-apply for federal student aid every year. Also, if you change schools, your aid does not automatically transfer with you.

FAFSA Verification

Some students may be chosen by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for verification of the information they submitted on the FAFSA. If you are chosen for verification, you will be asked to submit some or all of the following information by May 1, 2014:

  • Household information
  • Other income and asset information

Step 2: Submit the Simmons Student Information Form

The Simmons Student Information Form is available for download as a PDF file. Complete the form, sign it and submit it to:

Student Financial Services
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Fax: 617-521-3195

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at sfs@simmons.edu or 617-521-2001.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The federal government requires institutions to monitor recipients of federal financial aid to ensure that they are meeting satisfactory academic progress standards. At Simmons College, students must demonstrate that they are making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree annually at the time financial aid awards are made. The definition of satisfactory academic progress includes two required components:

  • The student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a C (2.0) or better (this GPA is reviewed at the end of each spring term for financial aid eligibility); and
  • The student must successfully complete at least two-thirds of all credits she attempts, on the average. Credits for a course are counted as attempted when the student is registered for that course after the fourth week of classes. A course is counted as completed when credit is received for the course.

Any student at risk of losing financial aid eligibility will be notified in writing by the Office of Student Financial Services after the spring semesters. Any student who is not making satisfactory academic progress after the spring semester will be notified in writing by the Office of Student Financial Services in early summer. The student may appeal to the Dean for Student Life if there are extenuating circumstances.

Should the Dean for Student Life grant the appeal, the student will be given one semester to bring her academic progress back to satisfactory standards. After this one conditional semester of eligibility, if the student is still not meeting the standards, she will lose eligibility for all financial aid until such time as the student again meets the standards.