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2020-2021 FAFSA Information

The "F" In FAFSA Doesn't Stand For FEAR!

Whether it's your first time or your fourth time, we know that filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be overwhelming and intimidating.

But, have no fear... Financial Aid Services is here!

Our awesome Financial Aid Services team at Moravian College stands ready to guide you every step of the way. It's kind of like having your own concierge for all things educational financing, so lean on us! 

Together, let’s take the fear out of FAFSA!


FAFSA 101: Why, Where, When, Who & What?

Here's the basics. 

Why Should I File the FAFSA?

You should file the FAFSA because it allows the institution, the state, and the Federal government to determine your eligibility for various types of aid.

What's less than 60 minutes of your time to discover what financial aid resources are available to you?

Where Do I File the FAFSA?

The FAFSA can be completed on the web at www.fafsa.gov or using the myStudentAid app on your smart mobile device or tablet. 

The myStudentAid app is available for you to to download from the Google Play App Store and Apple iTunes App Store.

When Should I File the 2020-2021 FAFSA?

The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year becomes available on October 1 each year. This means you can file the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year well in advance.

When Student Is
Attending College (School Year)
FAFSA Start-Up
2019-20 October 1, 2018
2020-21 October 1, 2019
2021-22 October 1, 2020
2022-23 October 1, 2021

We suggest that you complete the FAFSA as close to October 1 each year as possible. Although filing FAFSA early won't necessarily ensure that you receive your financial aid award from Moravian College or other schools-of-interest immediately, you are putting your best foot forward to maximize your aid eligibility and also expedite your award. 

For prospective Moravian College students, this means you'll be able to compare college offers most effectively to make an educated, well informed decision before deposit deadlines!

For returning Moravian College students, this means you'll have your award and an idea of what your costs for the upcoming academic year will be prior to receiving your semester billing statement! Remember returning students, you have an institutional priority deadline of February 1 for receipt of the FAFSA!

Whose Information Should Be On The 2020-2021 FAFSA?

It depends:

  • If you’re an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you’re married at the time of filling out FAFSA, your spouse’s).
  • If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information.

“Parent” means your legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person that the state has determined to be your legal parent. 

The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you:

  • Widowed Stepparent
  • Grandparents
  • Foster Parents
  • Legal Guardians
  • Older Brothers or Sisters
  • Aunts or Uncles

FAFSA looks at marital status of your parents as of the day you are completing the application. So ask yourself:

  • Question 1: As of the day you are filing the FAFSA, are your parents married to each other?
    • If yes, then report 2018 income and tax information for both parents on the FAFSA
    • If no, then answer question 2
  • Question 2: As of the day you are filing the FAFSA, do your parents live together? 
    • If yes, then report 2018 income and tax information for both parents on the FAFSA, even if they were never married, are divorced, or are separated
    • If no, then answer question 3
  • Question 3: As of the day you are filing the FAFSA, did you live with one parent more than the other over the past 12 months?
    • If yes, then report 2018 income and tax information on the FAFSA for the parent you lived with more
      • Also, if this parent is remarried as of the day you are filing the FAFSA, you will need to report 2018 income and tax information for your stepparent on the FAFSA
    • If no, then report 2018 income and tax information on the FAFSA for the parent who provided more financial support over the past 12 months or in the last year you received support.
      • Also, if this parent remarried, you will need to report 2018 income and tax information for your stepparent on the FAFSA

What Do I Need To File the 2020-2021 FAFSA?

To file the FAFSA, there are a few things you will need. Here's your checklist!

Verified FSA IDs

A verified FSA ID is a secure username and password that not only allows you to log in and sign the FAFSA, but also allows you to complete Federal loan documents and access your Federal loan borrowing information.

As the student, you will need a verified FSA ID.

If you are considered a dependent student, one parent whose information is required on the FAFSA needs their own verified FSA ID. If your parent has already created their own FSA ID (for example, if they have another student already in school), they do not need to create another FSA ID. 

To create an FSA ID for the first time, or to manage your current FSA ID, visit fsaid.ed.gov.

  • DO copy over your name and social security number (SSN) exactly as it appears on your social security card. This will ensure that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is able to successfully confirm your identity when using the ID.
  • DON'T mix parent and student information! FSA IDs are to be unique and personal to each student and to each parent. Only use parent information (name, date of birth, social security number, etc.) when creating the parent FSA ID, and only use student information (name, date of birth, social security number etc.) when creating the student FSA ID. And yes, that also means the email address and phone number used on the student FSA ID must be the student's, and the email address and phone number used on the parent FSA ID must be the parent's. 
  • DO register your cell phone number to your FSA ID. If you forget your username or password, your registered phone number will help you retrieve your username and reset your password. Each FSA ID can only be registered to one phone number; that's why it's important you use your own cell phone number!
  • DON'T select difficult challenge questions. While you want your questions and answers to be personalized, we all know how easy it can be to forget the answers to questions like "What is your favorite color?" or "Where is your favorite place to visit?" Pick questions with answers that don't change, so it's easier for you to remember them. 
  • DO keep your FSA ID secure. Data and information security is very important. Be sure to stow away your FSA ID for safe keeping, as it's something you will need each year. 

Social Security Numbers

When filling out the FAFSA, it is important that the social security number (SSN) listed for the student matches exactly what's listed on the student's social security card; which should also match the SSN used on the student's FSA ID.

Similarly, it is important that the SSN listed for the parent(s) on the FAFSA matches exactly what's listed on the parent(s)' social security card(s); which should also match the SSN used on the parent FSA ID.

Have your social security cards and numbers handy just to double check!

2018 Income & Tax Records 

The FAFSA looks at two-year prior tax information. Use the grid below to determine which year's tax records you should use on the FAFSA:

When Student Is
Attending College (Academic Year)
Which Year’s Income and
Tax Information Is Required
2019-20 2017
2020-21 2018
2021-22 2019
2022-23 2020

Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA. This means you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.

Want to make things even easier? There's a good chance you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA!

The IRS DRT is a tool designed to automatically import your IRS tax information into your FAFSA. Using the IRS DRT means you won't need to page through your tax return and determine what line item goes where.

To use the IRS DRT, under the Financial Information sections on FAFSA, simply click "Link to IRS," verify your tax filing status and your address as listed on your 2018 Tax Return, and then select "Transfer Now!" This will import your financial data from the IRS onto your FAFSA, making the application process faster and easier than ever before. 

Records of Additional & Untaxed Income

Students and parents of dependent student will need to report any relevant additional income and untaxed information on the FAFSA for the applicable year. Please be sure to have your records handy to help you!

Records of Assets

Students and parents of dependent student may be asked to report current asset information. Please be sure to have your records handy to help you!

List of Schools-of-Interest

Each time you submit the FAFSA electronically, you can list up to ten schools. You can list the schools by school code (Moravian College's school code is 003301) or by searching the name of the school.

You'll want to send your data to any school to which you may be interested in applying. This will enable those schools to prepare for you an award containing your financial aid eligibility once you've been accepted for admission and the school has started their award process for the year.


Did You Know...

While the "F" in FAFSA doesn't stand for fear, it does stand for FREE. If you attempt to complete your FAFSA using an unauthorized website or app, you may be prompted to pay. Please don't pay to file your FREE Application for Federal Student Aid!

Contrary to what many people believe, you don't need to decide where you'll be attending before you fill out the FAFSA. Each time you submit the FAFSA, you can list up to ten schools. You can list the schools by school code (Moravian College's school code is 003301) or by searching the name of the school. You'll want to send your data to any school to which you may be interested in applying. 

While we strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) if given that option, there are some circumstances in which you might not be able to use it. You may be unable to use the IRS DRT if:

  • You currently have a different marital status than during the applicable tax year being used on FAFSA 
  • You used the "married filing separately" tax filing status
  • You filed a U.S. Territory or foreign return

You must report the information the FAFSA asks for.

When Student Is
Attending College (Academic Year)
Which Year’s Income and
Tax Information Is Required
2019-20 2017
2020-21 2018
2021-22 2019
2022-23 2020

If your family’s income has changed substantially since the requested tax year, talk to the financial aid office about your family’s situation. Moravian College’s expert financial aid staff will gladly offer productive suggestions to help you navigate the College’s responsive appeal process. 


Where Can I Get More Information About—And Help With—the FAFSA?

  • Contact Moravian College's Office of Financial Aid Services by email (finaid@moravian.edu) or phone (610-861-1330). Let us know how we can help!
  • Follow us on Twitter & Instagram (@MoravianFinAid) for help tips and tricks!
  • Plan to attend one of Moravian College's Open Houses and other Admission events. Our friendly Financial Aid Staff will be there, too!
  • Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out for more information and help with completing the FAFSA.