- Can I be an independent student if my parents do not claim me on their taxes nor do they provide any support financially?
- I was single when I submitted my FAFSA, but since then I have married. Can I apply for a dependency override?
- What is the verification process?
- How long will the verification process take?
- How long will it take for me to be packaged?
- I already have a Bachelor's degree and I am now pursuing my teacher's certification; will I be able to receive aid?
Can I be an independent student if my parents do not claim me on their taxes nor do they provide any support financially?
Based on the question posed above, you would not be independent. If you are unable to answer "YES" to at least one of the conditions on the FAFSA regarding independent status, you are dependent. There is no provision for a student to be independent simply because his/her parents decline to claim him/her on their tax returns. Nor is the student independent if the family emancipated him after the student is 18 years or older. Emancipation is recognized by the federal Department of Education if it occurred in a court before the age of 18 (in Louisiana--age varies by state).
I was single when I submitted my FAFSA, but since then I have married. Can I apply for a dependency override?
A student's marital status cannot be changed once a FAFSA has been submitted to the federal processing center. Students who marry after the initial application has been processed must wait until the following processing year to file as an independent student due to marital status.
What is the verification process?
The verification process is essentially a comparison of your family situation and federal tax information with the data you submitted on your FAFSA. Since only about 30% of the FAFSA's are selected for verification, we do not request tax information before we receive the results of your FAFSA: the Student Aid Report (SAR). However, it is essential that we receive the information as soon as possible after we request it. Thus, you should keep a signed copy of your tax return in your records to avoid delays in obtaining a copy from the IRS.
How long will the verification process take?
Verification may take as little as a few days to several weeks depending on various situations. If everything is correct and it is not a busy time of the year, verification may take only a few days. However, during busy periods, the verification process will take longer due to the increased number of students' files being verified. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA application early and to use our assistance in helping you fill out your forms accurately the FIRST time.
How long will it take for me to be packaged?
The length of time from application to packaging (creation of the financial aid award group) varies with the time of year and the responsiveness of the applicant. If the applicant submits a FAFSA in January for Fall quarter attendance, there will be a delay in communicating the receipt of his data at the school because the system has to be set up before correspondence is sent out.
We normally begin the packaging process in March of each year for the next academic year beginning Fall. You will be packaged for aid after you've submitted all of your required documents including verification documents and they have been entered into our system. You must also be admitted to La Tech and be eligible for federal aid prior to packaging. We package for aid on a weekly basis. The timeframe can vary depending on your response to requests for information.
Using the best case scenario you may be packaged for aid within a week from the time we receive your application electronically provided you meet the above requirements.
I already have a Bachelor's degree and I am now pursuing my teacher's certification; will I be able to receive aid?
If you are seeking initial teacher certification in a classroom teaching field, you are eligible to receive federal loans at the undergraduate senior level to assist you in completing those courses specifically required by the state for certification. Courses recommended as additional professional courses by the College cannot be covered by financial aid.
If you are seeking certification in a non-teaching field such as Counseling and Guidance, Psychology, or Educational Administration or if you already have a certification and are seeking a higher or different certification, no federal aid is available.
An exception to working on certification is if you are required to take courses to be state certified in a different state even though you have a certification, you would be eligible for federal loans. If your state required that you renew an existing certification by taking courses, you would also be eligible to receive aid for those courses.