I don't think I'll qualify for aid. Should I still apply?

Yes. The federal government has a formula that considers a number of factors including income, assets, number in household and number in college to determine your expected family contribution (EFC). This figure assists us in determining your eligibility for grants and loans. Without the completion of the FAFSA we cannot fully determine your eligibility.

My parents are divorced. How should I complete the parent section of the FAFSA?

In the case of divorce or separation, you are instructed to answer in terms of the parent who provided the most financial support during the last 12 months. Additionally, if the parent you counted above is married or remarried as of the date they completed the form, you must include the financial information of the stepparent (even if they were not married in the previous calendar year).

Neither of my parents claims me as a dependent on their taxes. Can I be considered an independent student?

The Federal Government determines the dependency status of the student according to the questions answered on the FAFSA. Filing your own taxes, separate from your parents, does not make you independent for federal financial aid purposes. The criteria for meeting independent status can be found here. If you do not meet any of these criteria, and you can document special circumstances about independence, you should contact the Athens State Financial Aid Office.

I received a notice that my SAR was rejected. What do I need to do?

The notice that you received guides you with information as to why your SAR was rejected, and what you must do now to correct it.

My parents have had a significant change to their income since filing the FAFSA. Is it possible for Athens State to take this into consideration when determining my financial aid for the upcoming year?

Yes, the Financial Aid Office may be able to consider these changes when reviewing the student’s financial aid. Students must complete the Special Circumstances Form in full and submit it to our office along with any supporting documentation.

How will an outside scholarship affect my financial aid package?

Financial assistance received from other sources must be reported to the Financial Aid Office. Assistance from outside sources typically does not impact the financial aid award unless it exceeds the cost of attendance. The money from these type of awards needs to be posted to the student’s account to be counted towards the bill.

I declined my loan(s) and now I realize I need it/them. Can I get them re-offered?
What happens with my financial aid if I completely withdraw for the semester?

If you are receiving federal financial aid and withdraw or take a leave of absence from the college, any federal or state aid you are receiving is subject to recalculation to determine how much aid can be applied to your incurred charges and how much aid needs to be returned to the applicable Federal and State agencies. These calculations occur under the Federal Return of Title IV Aid, State, financial aid and college policies.  For a more detailed explanation view Impact of Withdrawal on Financial Aid.

Return of Title IV Funds (Federal and some state financial aid)

Title IV fund rules assume that a student earns his or her aid based on the period of time he or she remained enrolled for the term. Unearned aid, other than work-study, must be returned to the U.S. Department of Education up until the 60% point in the term. At the 60% point in the term, the student is considered to have earned all of his or her aid.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

All undergraduate and graduate students must comply with the Federal Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined below:

  1. You must maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA.
  2. You must successfully complete 67% of all coursework attempted. All W’s, I’s, F’s, repeated coursework and audited coursework count as unsuccessful completions. See the Impact of Withdrawal on Financial Aidpage for additional details.
  3. You must complete your first bachelor’s degree requirements within 150% of the usual time frame for degree completion. Athens State University generally requires 124 semester hours to earn a first undergraduate degree. For a more detailed explanation view Satisfactory Academic Progress using this link: https://www.athens.edu/financial-aid/regulations/
How can I check to see how close I am to my Pell Grant LEU or Loan limits?

You can view your Pell and loan usage by login in at the following website using your FSA ID: NSLDS.ed.gov.

Verification FAQs

Do I have to complete the verification process?

No. However, if you don’t complete it, you will be forfeiting your eligibility for financial aid, including some need based scholarships.

What is the deadline to submit verification documents?

For full consideration of all aid resources, all required documents need to be submitted for review to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the Priority Deadline of each semester:

  • Fall Semester: June 15
  • Spring Semester: November 15
  • Summer Semester: April 15

Documents received after the priority deadline of each semester will be processed in the order received. No financial aid will be applied to your student account until all unsatisfied requirements are submitted, reviewed, accepted, processed and posted which may take up to 15 days. >For faster processing times, please submit all requirements together at one time.

Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA form?

The purpose of the process is to confirm that the information reported on the FAFSA is correct. If any information is incorrect, we must make corrections and submit them to the Department of Education for reprocessing.

You and your family agreed to provide financial information when you completed the FAFSA. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to “If asked, provide information that will verify the accuracy of your completed form.”

Once I've sent Athens State a copy of the verification forms, data retrieval or tax transcripts, and W-2s I'm done, right?

Not necessarily. After reviewing the required documents you’ve submitted, we may need to request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies. We will notify you via your Athens State email. We ask you to respond promptly to these requests as this will help to finalize the verification process.

I can’t find one or more of my W2s. What can I do?

You can request a “Wage and Income Transcript” from the IRS at the following website: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

I tried using IRS Data Retrieval, but I am having trouble with my FSA ID username and password. What should I do?

If you are having trouble with your FSA ID user name or password, contact FAFSA Customer Service immediately for troubleshooting solutions.

What if I didn't file a federal tax return?

If federal regulations did not require you, a dependent student, to file a return, simply indicate that you did not file on our Dependent Verification Worksheet. Submit all completed verification forms along with a copy of all W-2 Forms to our office.  If your parents did not file a tax return, we need them to obtain a statement of non-filing from the IRS.

If you, an independent student, did not file a federal tax return or were not required to, we require you to obtain a statement of non-filing from the IRS.  This can be in the form of a blank tax return transcript.

What is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?

A Tax Return Transcript is a line-by-line summary of the actual tax return you filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Department of Education requires us to confirm that the information you provided on your FAFSA is the same information you filed with the IRS.

The IRS website offers two different types of transcripts, a return transcript and an account transcript. Which one should I order?

Tax Return Transcript? YES!!!

Tax Account Transcript? NO.

You are required to supply a tax return transcript as it includes all lines of the tax return you filed.

I am divorced or separated but filed a joint tax return with my spouse. What do I do?

You will be required to provide proof that you were separated on or before the day you completed the FAFSA. One example of acceptable documentation is court documentation that shows a separation date. Another example of acceptable documentation is proof of separate physical addresses on bills for both parties dated on or before the day you filed the FAFSA. You will also be required to provide IRS tax transcripts and all W2s for both you and your spouse.

My current address is different from what's on my tax return. What do I do?

When using data retrieval or the online PDF request tax transcript options, when prompted, you should enter the address you filed your tax returns with. If you must order a paper version to be mailed to your new address you may be able to request a tax return transcript via telephone or you may need to complete the IRS Form 4506T-EZ to request a free copy of a Tax Return Transcript.

Athens State Online FAQs

How do I use my financial aid in the bookstore?

To authorize the use of your Title IV financial aid in the bookstore:

  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and PIN
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “My Account and Award Information”
  4. Select “View Awards by Aid Year”
  5. Select the award year to view
  6. Select “Resources/Additional Information”
  7. Select then submit “Yes” or “No”

Once authorized, your financial aid can only be used in the bookstore during a specific time period. View “When can I use my financial aid in the bookstore” for details.

When can I use my financial aid in the bookstore?
  1. Go to Athens State Important Dates website
  2. Select the semester in question
  3. View the Session column for “Bookstore Charges”

The bookstore can only use your financial aid after you have authorized your funds to be used there. View “How do I use my financial aid in the bookstore” for details.

How do I accept the financial aid terms and conditions?
  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and PIN
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “My Account and Award Information”
  4. Select “View Awards by Aid Year”
  5. Select the award year to view
  6. Read “Terms and Conditions” and accept
How do I know that the financial aid office has the documentation I submitted?
  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State University ID and PIN
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “My Eligibility”
  4. Select “Student Requirements”
  5. Select the award year to view

Once the financial aid office has received your submitted documentation, the status column will be updated under the “Unsatisfied Requirements” section or the document will be moved to the “Satisfied Requirements” section. All unsatisfied requirements must be submitted for review before any financial aid can be offered to you.

When is the payment due for the semester?
  1. Go to Athens State Important Dates website
  2. Select the semester in question
  3. View the Session column for “Payment Due Date”
When will the first refund date of the semester be?
  1. Go to Athens State Important Dates website
  2. Select the semester in question
  3. View the Session column for “Student Refunds Processed Date”

After the first scheduled date, refunds are given each Friday. Contact for more details about set up and times.

How do I get my loans put in deferment so I do not have to pay while in school?
  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and PIN
  2. Select “Student” tab
  3. Select “National Student Clearinghouse Self-Service”
  4. Select “Obtain an enrollment certificate”
  5. Send documentation to your loan lenders
    1. Loan lender contact information can be viewed at nslds.ed.gov after logging in
Do I have a hold on my financial aid account?

To view if you have a hold on your financial aid account that stops you from being eligible for financial aid:

  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and PIN
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “My Eligibility”
  4. Select Review Financial Aid Holds
How do I view and accept/decline the awards offered to me?
  1. Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and PIN
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “My Account and Award Information”
  4. Select “View Awards by Aid Year”
  5. Select the award year to view
  6. Select “Accept Award Offer” then scroll down to view and accept awards

If no offers appear on this page we may be missing something to begin or complete processing. Please check that we have your FAFSA application, all required documents and no holds are on your records.