To apply for financial aid, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a Department of Education form used by colleges and universities in the U.S. to determine eligibility for the preferred types of financial assistance.
Through the FAFSA, students are considered for federal education loans that feature low fixed interest rates, extended repayment periods, and flexible payment options. In addition, New College students are considered for the federal Pell grant, while full-time traditional undergraduate students are also considered for state and university grants. Eligibility for grants is based on family size, income, and assets, so not all students qualify.
2024-25 FAFSA Changes
FAFSA Changes for 2024-2025
The online FAFSA for 2024-2025 should be available to submit in December 2023. This is a temporary inconvenience due to an overhaul and simplification process by the Department of Education. In future years, the FAFSA should be available on October 1st as it has been in recent years.
The Priority Deadline to submit a 2024-2025 FAFSA application to St. Edward's University is March 1, 2024.
The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need calculation, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.
2024-2025 FAFSA available in December 2023; St. Edward's will receive FAFSA data in February 2024
Historically, the FAFSA has been available beginning October 1st each year. However, because of significant changes to the application and the rebuild of the FAFSA processing system, the Department of Education has indicated that students will be able to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA by December 31st and schools will begin receiving FAFSA data by January 31st.
Streamlined Application Process
The new FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, allows a minimum SAI of -1500, and implements a separate eligibility determination criterion for Federal Pell Grants.
The new FAFSA introduces the term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.
Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility
Federal Pell Grant eligibility is expanded to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
Prepare for the FAFSA
Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one. Your existing FSA ID will continue to work.
Other Important Changes
- The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won't even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.
- Students may now send their FAFSA to up to 20 colleges
- The FAFSA will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents
- Language-specific resources and support will also be available from FSA Information Center
- Once the FAFSA has been started, students will now be able to view the status, including contributor progress, on their FSA account
- Once all required data has been provided and all sections have been signed, any contributor can submit the FAFSA form
- After the FAFSA form is processed, a contributor is able to correct or update only their sections of the student’s application
- Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
- For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
- When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.
- The results of the FAFSA form sent to the applicant in a document is now known as the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS), with it formerly being called the Student Aid Report (SAR)
- A demographic data survey will be added to the FAFSA with questions related to race, ethnicity, and gender. The survey will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and is used only for statistical purposes.
Stay informed of the FAFSA release date and additional resources through the Federal Student Aid website and socials.
How to Complete the FAFSA
Step 1: Get a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at the U.S. government's Federal Student Aid website
The FSA ID is a user-selected username and password that will allow you to:
- Complete and sign the FAFSA electronically
- Check the results of your FAFSA and make corrections to the application online
Since the FSA ID is user specific, parents must request their own FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA.
New for 2024-25
A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don't already have one) to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA.
Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
Step 2: File Your FAFSA
Make sure to submit the FAFSA which corresponds to the school year you'll be attending. For example, students starting in Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 should submit the 2023-2024 FAFSA. Make sure to list St. Edward's federal school code, 003621, in the school release section of the application.
Step 3: Monitor the Status of Your FAFSA
After you've filed your FAFSA, you can check the status of your application, or you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 and use their automated response system. St. Edward's generally receives the results of your application within three days after it has been processed. If you do not receive a response from the Department of Education within two weeks of submitting your FAFSA, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center for assistance.
In addition to submitting the FAFSA, you also need to apply and be accepted to St. Edward's in order to receive your financial aid offer.
What is Verification?
If you are selected for verification, you are not alone! About 30% of FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) randomly selects students for verification. ED requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be disbursed. Please note, if a correction is made to a FAFSA, it could be selected for verification even if the original application was not.
A federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by selected applicants on the FAFSA. To complete the verification process, the student, their parent(s), or spouse, if applicable, are required to provide certain documents to the school for review. If the documentation the student provides the institution doesn't match what was reported on the FAFSA, verification can result in changes to the student's financial aid eligibility, and/or financial aid offers.
When selected for verification, the student will be notified through their FAFSA and/or SEU email, as well as through their student portal, myHilltop, where they are directed to resolve outstanding financial aid requirements. Students should upload required verification documentation through the secured portal. We encourage students to submit outstanding requirements by July 1 in order for proper and timely processing of their financial aid.
IRS Data Retrieval Process
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available through the FAFSA! We highly recommend using this secure method to import student and parent tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA application.
Using DRT speeds up the verification process and can eliminate the need for extra paperwork.
Depending on how taxes were filed, the IRS DRT may not be an option. If selected for verification and ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a copy of the tax RETURN TRANSCRIPT will be required. Note: The IRS redacts critical identifying information on tax return transcripts, such as full names of parents and dependents, so it is imperative to have them sent to you first; after adding student information, you should submit them to our office.
There are four options for obtaining a tax RETURN TRANSCRIPT.
- You can get your free transcripts immediately online.
- Go to IRS.gov and use the Get Transcript tool.
- You can also get them by phone.
- Call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.
- Using the mobile app.
- Download the IRS2Go mobile phone app on your smartphone and follow the instructions.
- You can receive transcripts by mail or by fax (within five to 10 days from the time IRS receives your request).
- Complete Form 4506T-EZ and follow the instructions
When uploading or submitting any documents to our office, we ask that you list the student’s full name and St. Edward’s ID number in the top right corner of the document. Failure to provide this information will lengthen processing time and may prevent us from processing your document entirely.
Important Tips for Completing the Verification Process
- Complete all requested forms in full: Do not leave any questions blank. All questions must have an answer even if it is a "0".
- Be sure required signatures have been provided.Signatures should not be typed.
- Submitting your FAFSA early and completing verification is required before aid can be applied to the student’s account. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year opens annually on October 1st.
- During peak periods, please allow extra time for processing your verification documents.
- Once verification begins, you may be asked to submit additional documentation. If this occurs, an email will be sent to the student's SEU email account and all requested documents can be viewed on the myHilltop portal.
Special and Unusual Circumstances (Professional Judgment)
Special and Unusual Circumstances (Professional Judgment)
We recognize that the FAFSA may not always accurately reflect your financial situation. Although considerations for specific situations are limited, we may be able to give additional consideration for situations. The FAFSA Simplification Act distinguishes between different categories of professional judgment by amending section 479A of the HEA.
Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation.
Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.
Special Circumstance Appeals will be considered after you receive your initial award notification for the current aid year. Special circumstance considerations may require the counselor to verify tax documents. In addition, other documents pertaining to the circumstance may be required. Submitting a special circumstance request does not guarantee an adjustment will be made to your aid offer.
Please contact your Student Financial Aid Counselor to see if your situation falls under a circumstance that can be considered. If approved, any additional funding awarded may only available for the academic school year for which the special circumstance is approved. Special circumstances must be reviewed annually.
Examples of Special Circumstances/Professional Judgment Considered
- Loss or reduction of income (layoff, illness, forced reduction of hours, temporary employment, etc.)
- Catastrophic medical or dental expenses
- Death, divorce, or separation of parents or spouse
- Non-recurring payments receiving during the FAFSA tax year that will not be repeated
- Loss of benefits, such as unemployment, disability, social security, veterans, child support, or alimony
Examples of Special Circumstances/Professional Judgment NOT Considered
- Increase of standard living expenses.
- Purchasing material items such as a car, home appliances, vacations, second homes, etc.
- Reduction of assets. Changes in assets will be reflected on the following year's FAFSA.
- Credit issues, line of credit changes, previous student loan debt, etc.
- Medical bills paid by health insurance or that will be reimbursed by health care coverage.
None of the Above
- My situation is unique and does not include the above situations.
The Special Circumstance Appeal form is available by request only. If you feel you have a special circumstance, contact your Student Financial Aid Counselor for further guidance.
Unusual Circumstances (Dependency)
When determining a student’s unusual circumstances, or in verifying homeless or foster youth statuses, schools must ensure that any supporting documentation they collect is adequate to substantiate the student’s— and, as applicable, the parent's or spouse’s— circumstances. If you feel you have a unusual circumstance, contact your Student Financial Aid Counselor for further guidance.
Tuition Remission is an employment benefit. Eligibility can be located through Human Resources.
Applications typically become available at the start of the summer term via the myHilltop task.
Tuition remission applies only to courses at St. Edward’s University. Impacted programs are eligible for tuition remission on a limited basis.
Graduate students, please pay special attention to the tax implications of Tuition Remission described in the Employee Handbook.
Tuition remission applies only to courses at St. Edward’s University. Impacted programs are eligible for tuition remission on a limited basis.
|Impacted Programs||A program or course that has been identified to receive more eligible applicants and/or returning students than can be accommodated. These are programs are eligible for tuition remission, but on a limited basis based upon budgeted enrollment levels.||
Tuition Exchange Scholarship Opportunity for Children of Regular Employees
Tuition Exchange (TE) is a reciprocal scholarship opportunity for eligible faculty and staff dependents at all 677+ individual member schools.
Each participating institution determines the number of tuition exchange scholarships it will grant to incoming students each year. As a result, they are highly competitive, and there are no guarantees to the children of any given faculty or staff member that they will be able to use the tuition exchange scholarship at the institution of their choice.
Tuition Exchange is open to children of full-time regular (40 hours a week) employees who have at least three years (36 months) of continuous, eligible service at the time the student enrolls
For more information on the number of tuition exchange scholarships available at a participating institution, contact the institution's tuition exchange coordinator.
Have a question? Please contact St. Edward's University Program Coordinator:
Financial Aid Counselor
Phone: 512-416-5817 or Email
Affinity Group Tuition Discount Program
St. Edward’s University Alumni
- St. Edward’s University Degree Recipients defined as having completed and awarded an undergraduate or graduate degree at St. Edward’s:
- Tuition: 15% discount of published tuition for graduate programs
- St. Edward’s University Certificate Only Recipients defined as students only having successfully completed and been awarded a qualifying St. Edward’s University certificate of completion.
- Tuition: 15% discount of published undergraduate tuition
Parents & Guardians of St Edward’s University Students & Graduates
- Parent’s & Legal Guardians of Active St. Edward’s University Students defined as the documented parent or legal guardian of an undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time or having successfully completed and been awarded a St. Edward’s University bachelor’s degree
- Tuition: 15% discount of published undergraduate tuition, certificates or graduate programs
Holy Cross Institution Faculty & Staff
- Currently employed faculty and staff at an organization identified as a Congregation of Holy Cross ministry (i.e., education institution, Parish, or missionary and social justice organization).
- Tuition: 15% discount of published undergraduate tuition, certificates, graduate programs
Eligibility & Exclusions
- To receive the differential rate, a student must be enrolled in a minimum level of credit hours per academic period as defined by the primary program of instruction:
- Undergraduate – 9 CH
- Graduate – 6 CH
- Certificate – 6 CH or equivalent (non-credit hour load) as defined by the university
- Student’s must meet Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the relevant Bulletin.
- Please be sure to review all Financial Aid Policies.
- Differential tuition through this program may not be combined with other special tuition rates, tuition remission, tuition exchange, athletic aid, or other university assistance.
- The rate difference does not apply to comprehensive fee or other institutional charges.
- Eligibility is determined each semester of enrollment prior to the 12th class day.
Have a question? Please contact your Financial Aid Counselor.
Awards and Taxes
Awards may be taxable income to students. However, based on IRS rules, the University does not withhold tax on Awards for domestic students or provide students with tax Form 1099. Students are responsible for reporting taxable award payments along with any other payments they receive, and for remitting any tax due with their personal income tax return. (Foreign students who are non-resident aliens will receive a Form 1042-S reporting taxable stipends. U.S. withholding tax may apply.) Students should maintain a record of the award payments received during the calendar year (January 1 to December 31). The total annual payments received can also be obtained from their student account. Please note: University staff cannot advise students in tax matters. If students need tax guidance, they should consult with a qualified tax specialist or a CPA firm.
Learn more on FINAID.org.
Foundation Communities does offer free tax assistance for those that qualify.