New in 2014-15

To be eligible for financial aid during the 2014-15 academic year, all students are required to complete a new or renewal 2014-15 FAFSA.

Students and parents are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing their 2014-15 FAFSA.

Changes in Financial Aid for 2014-15

A number of changes due to national budget negotiations have occurred to the federal financial aid programs for the 2014-15 academic year:

IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the FAFSA

The U.S. Department of Education has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service to create the IRS Data Retrieval system.

While completing the FAFSA, students and parents can use this tool to import their 2013 federal income tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA, simplifying and expediting the application and verification processes.

We encourage students and parents to use this tool and avoid making any changes to the information supplied by the IRS.

Using this feature and maintaining the information is the best way to ensure the correct data is reported on the FAFSA.

Use the IRS Data Retrieval tool's eligibility indicator to determine whether you can use the tool further. In some circumstances students and parents may be ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, in which case you will need to input the data yourself.

The IRS tool is accessible at the FAFSA website.

How soon after filing a 2013 federal tax return can I use the IRS tools?

  • For electronic tax filers -- IRS data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 2 weeks of filing.
  • For paper tax filers -- IRS data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 6-8 weeks of filing.

Who is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The following circumstances make you eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

You or your parent(s), or both

  • filed a 2013 federal tax return(s)
  • have not changed your marital status since December 31, 2013

Who is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The following circumstances make you ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

You or your parent(s), or both

  • filed an amended 2013 federal tax return(s)
  • will not file a 2013 federal tax return(s)
  • are married, but filed separately
  • filed a foreign tax return (including Puerto Rico)

Process to Retrieve IRS Data

To retrieve your IRS data for the student or parent (or both) follow these steps:

  1. Log in to www.fafsa.gov and select "Start Here”
  2. Enter the student's information and click "Next”
  3. Select the 2014-15 FAFSA and select "Make FAFSA Corrections"
  4. Enter the student's PIN, create a unique password that you will remember, and hit "Next”
  5. Select the "Financial Information" tab and follow the directions to retrieve tax information from the IRS for you or your parents, or both. Be sure to use the primary tax filer’s identification information to retrieve the IRS tax information.
  6. After you have successfully retrieved the tax return information from the IRS for you or your parents, or both, do not change any of the information that was retrieved.
  7. Choose "Next" and complete the "sign and submit" section
  8. CCA's Financial Aid Office will receive your updated FAFSA in 5-10 business days, review it and, if needed, contact you for additional information through your CCA email address.

Federal Tax Data Verification & Tax Return Info

For the 2014-15 academic year, copies of federal tax returns (1040, 1040EZ, and 1040A) are no longer acceptable for verification purposes.

Students selected for verification are now required to submit a federal tax return transcript from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to CCA’s Financial Aid Office.

Student or parents, or both, who are married but filing separately must submit two separate IRS tax-return transcripts. Tax-return transcripts are not required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return.

Important: Students and parents can order a federal tax return transcript online, by phone, or by mail.

Do not have the transcript sent directly to CCA.

Once you receive the tax transcript for the student and parent (if applicable), please submit it with copies of your 2013 W2s and all other required documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Tip: We encourage students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool and avoid making any changes to the information supplied by the IRS. The transfer of unaltered student and parent tax information (if applicable) from the IRS to the FAFSA will satisfy the federal tax-return transcript requirements in the verification process.

If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, choose not to use it, or alter your IRS tax information after it is imported into the FAFSA, students and parents (if applicable) must submit a certified IRS tax return transcript to the CCA Financial Aid Office.

What if I am not required to file a 2013 Federal Income Tax Return?

If you or your parent(s), or both, are not required to file a 2013 Federal Tax Return, you need to complete a Statement of Non-Filing (see Financial Aid Forms), copies of all 2013 W2(s) and all other required documentation to the Financial Aid Office..

Undergraduate Direct Loan Changes

The subsidy for the origination fees on Direct Loans and Direct PLUS Loans has been eliminated for loans originated on or after July 1, 2012. Origination fees are now:

  • 1.072 percent for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • 4.288 percent for Direct PLUS Loans

Note: This will decrease the amount of the loan that is disbursed to your student account.

The interest rate on subsidized Direct Loans disbursed between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, is fixed at 3.86 percent for undergraduate students once the student enters the repayment period. The interest rate on subsidized Direct Loans is subject to revision based on changes in federal legislation.

The interest subsidy during the six-month grace period has been eliminated on all Direct Loans made on or after July 1, 2012.

The repayment period still begins six-months after the last day of enrollment; however, the government will no longer subsidize the interest during this time, and the students are held responsible for the interest.

Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loans for First-Time Borrowers

Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, federal regulations limit the period of time you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans to 150 percent of the published length of your academic program.

If you are enrolled in a four-year program, you would no longer be eligible for Subsidized Direct Loans after six years of enrollment.

If you enrolled in the five-year Bachelor of Architecture Program, you would no longer be eligible for Subsidized Direct Loans after seven-and-a-half years of enrollment.

Yearly and lifetime federal loan borrowing limits remain the same.

For specific examples and more information, please review the Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility document.

Graduate Direct Loan Changes

The subsidy for the origination fees on Direct Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans has been eliminated for loans originated on or after July 1, 2012. The origination fees are now:

  • 1.072 percent for Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • 4.288 percent for Direct PLUS Loans

Note: This will decrease the amount of the loan that is disbursed to your student account.

Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)

Students are now limited to a lifetime maximum Federal Pell Grant of 12 semesters / 6 years or full-time equivalent (600 percent) at any community college, vocational school, or four-year / bachelor program.

This change affects all new and continuing CCA students who receive Pell Grants. Once you have reached the 600 percent Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used, you will be ineligible for any additional Pell Grant funding.

You are able to log onto the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) using your FAFSA PIN and view your Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used. The Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.

We strongly encourage students to plan now for the future. The six-year limit is a lifetime limit, regardless of completion of your bachelor’s degree.

This regulation is in effect even if you have had an appeal approved for failure to meet academic progress. It supersedes any prior offer of aid/award, and the U.S. Department of Education does not allow for exceptions or appeals.

For examples of how Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used is calculated and for further details, visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PellLimit.jsp

Ability to Benefit

Students who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, must now have a high school diploma or GED to receive Federal Title IV funds.