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Having to navigate financial aid is hard enough if you don’t understand what materials you need. There are many different steps that you need to take in order to complete your financial aid package. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be misunderstood by the majority of students and sometimes even their parents. Grantford’s team is here to help you navigate any confusion surrounding financial aid and the college experience.
There are many things that contribute to your financial aid package. First and foremost, the FAFSA is based on your parents income. In order to apply for the FAFSA, your parents or guardians have to submit their tax paperwork. The Schedule 1 is a form that's filed separately to report income or any adjustments to previously reported income.
Understanding taxes is only the beginning of the financial aid process. It's crucial to fill out this form so you can discover your eligibility for aid. Let's dive into the process so you can avoid any hiccups in the future.
Navigating your FAFSA and CSS Profile
Filling out the FAFSA is free for all, and once you get the hang of it, it's really simple to figure out. The first time you do it is always the hardest, so that’s why we’re here to assist in any way possible to smooth out the process.
When you go to the Department of Education’s website, they offer you a step by step guide to filling out the FAFSA form. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loans, and sends that info to the colleges of your choice. After your institution receives the information, they will determine how much financial aid, scholarships, loans and grants they will give you for that year. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool makes the process of filling out the FAFSA easier and almost instantaneous.
After you receive your financial aid offer, you will be able to review it and, if necessary, adjust it. Each college will give you a different offer, so try to compare them to see which one is the best fit for you. Also, think about how your offer may change throughout the four years you attend. Once you've narrowed down your decision you'll inform them before the deadline, accepting the offer.
In order to determine your eligibility for non-federal financial aid, you need to fill out the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. Unlike the FAFSA, it provides your university with additional financial information in order to determine any additional needs. This tool helps individual colleges determine how much of their own personal scholarship dollars they want to award you. The CSS Profile is free to fill out for American families that make up to $100,000 per year, and costs up to $25 per year otherwise. You can view Grantford’s breakdown of the CSS Profile here.
The opportunity to fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profiles for the 2022-2023 school year began on October first, 2021. It's best to fill it out as soon as possible to maximize the amount of aid you receive. Federal financial aid is given on a first come, first serve basis. Check out our FAFSA Tips and Tricks to learn more and to get a head start on your FAFSA application.
Another way to pay for college is through grants and scholarships. Although each institution is different, there are several global, national, and local scholarships you can apply for. These are based on your community involvement, major, calculated financial need and through submitting an essay. Read Grantford’s Scholarships page to learn how to earn some free money toward your education.
What’s a Schedule 1 Form?
The necessity for filling out a Schedule 1 Form depends on your family’s salary and wages accumulated that year. It generally refers to any additional taxes and adjustments to income that aren’t reported on your 1040 form. This form can’t be pulled directly from the IRS via the Data Retrieval Tool, and needs to be reported separately. To understand why this form might be required, you’re going to need a crash course on taxes.
If you have ever filled out taxes, you have likely seen guides on how to understand different income types. The IRS 1040 Form is a document that American taxpayers use to file their annual income. There are a couple variations of the form which is determined by your income, citizenship or other purposes. Tax form 1040 sometimes requires additional forms to report various sources of income types separate from your typical W2 form. This is where the Schedule 1 form comes in.
You can find the Schedule 1 form attached to your 1040 form. If you or your parents work with a tax professional, they can help guide you on why it might be necessary to fill out. It’s generally used to report several different kinds of income, including wages, interest, dividends, retirement income, social security benefits, and any capital gains or losses. A breakdown of each of these categories can be found via this Turbotax article, or by contacting your preferred tax professional.
How to add a Schedule 1 Form to the FAFSA
Question 35 of the FAFSA, it will ask if the student has filled out a Schedule 1 form, and question 82, it will ask whether or not your parents have completed the form. You can select one of three options: yes, no, or don't know. If you are unsure and you select ‘don't know,’ your school will reach out directly to clarify some of your financial documentation. This might slow down your financial aid completion. Sometimes this leads to you filling out another form separate from the FAFSA with your institution. To avoid all of this, double check that you are absolutely sure if you need to complete a Schedule 1 form.
This only applies to students if you have a job in which taxes have been deducted or have filed taxes in the past. Different jobs, for instance, might require you to fill out this form. If you do any ride-sharing, such as Doordash, Uber or GrubHub, or a side job, this might apply to you. It's best to double-check with your employer as well to see if it's required for you to fill this form out.
Reporting whether you have filled out a Schedule 1 Form on the FAFSA is crucial to determining your financial aid package. Failure to do so properly can hurt you in the long run. If you don't report income, then your financial aid package isn't accurate. Therefore, you might have to pay more than you were expecting if you don't fill this out correctly. Researching and consulting a tax professional or meeting with a financial aid consultant is the best way to avoid any problems regarding your federal aid.
Recap and FAQs
- What is a Schedule 1 Form? The IRS Schedule 1 Form is tax paperwork that is filed with your 1040 form.
- Who needs to do a Schedule 1? Anyone who needs to report income or adjustments that aren't listed on the 1040, such as capital gains, alimony, unemployment payments, and student loan interest deductions. To know for sure if you need to fill out a Schedule 1 form, contact a tax professional for assistance.
- Where do you find the Schedule 1 on the FAFSA? The FAFSA asks for your Schedule 1 information during question 35 of the student form and question 82 of the parent form.
- Does it need to be filled out every year? When you do your annual tax return, you might have to fill out the Schedule 1 again if you still meet the requirements. Every year that you fill out the FAFSA, they’ll ask you if you filled out the Schedule 1 Form.
Going through college applications, alongside figuring out your financial aid status can be a confusing and difficult process. Grantford's team hopes to provide students in both undergrad and graduate programs with resources to even the playing field. You can meet with us or view our various categories of resources on our website. For annual updates, subscribe to our financial aid advice newsletter.