About the FAFSA

General Information

Eligible students who are interested in being considered for federal student aid should file the FAFSA annually. The FAFSA is also required to determine a student's eligibility for work-study vs. campus employment opportunities and need-based institutional aid awards.

Families should never feel the need to pay a preparer to complete the FAFSA. Instead, free assistance can be obtained through Federal Student Aid customer service and by contacting our office. For general questions, please refer to the FAQ section compiled by the Federal Student Aid Administration.

TG Adventures in Education also created a comprehensive FAFSA video that may answer your questions. Watch it in English or Spanish.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

A figure that estimates the totals related to attending Manhattan College for one academic year, comprised of direct costs (the tuition, fees, room & board, etc. as actually billed to you) and indirect costs (reasonable expenses including books and supplies, education-related miscellaneous expenses, and transportation).

Your COA can help you budget for your education in a given year, and also sets a maximum limit on a student's financial aid package. For example, financial aid administrators cannot certify a loan amount that exceeds a student's Cost of Attendance.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is a figure that uses the information reported on your FAFSA to calculate your family's ability to help financially support your college education. The formula is established by law.

What does my EFC determine?

Your EFC is not the amount you owe Manhattan College each term nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. The EFC helps determine your federal student aid and need-based institutional aid eligibility. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (including received unemployment or Social Security funds) are all considered in the formula, as well as your family size and number of family members enrolled in college during the year (excluding parents and/or legal guardians). 

Financial Need

   Cost of Attendance

-  Expected Family Contribution

-  Third Party Resources and Outside Scholarships

=  Financial Need

Calculated by taking the annual COA minus EFC and deducting any third party resources, such as outside scholarships. Financial need is an important factor used in determining your financial aid eligibility. Financial need is reconfigured if there are changes in COA, EFC, outside resources, and Manhattan College (institutional) aid awarded. 

Meeting the complete costs of college requires a cooperative effort from several possible sources of funds: student and family, Manhattan College, state and federal government agencies, and third party sources of aid. Manhattan College attempts to meet a significant portion of need but is unable to meet full need due to financial limitations.

I submitted the FAFSA. What happens next?

We encourage you to wait until you receive an e-mail, confirming that your FAFSA is being processed by the federal government. It is strongly recommended that you review your Student Aid Report (SAR) on fafsa.gov to review whether any further action is needed from you. We will receive your FAFSA within 3-4 business days. Read studentaid.ed.gov for related information.

What if my FAFSA is selected for verification?

Students whose FAFSAs are selected for verification do not have a finalized EFC. Impacted students must comply with a verification review, providing our office with required documentation before need-based financial aid can be determined. Formal instructions are sent directly to such students by the Financial Aid Administration office, but you may also be able to see if you are selected by reading your Student Aid Report (SAR) on fafsa.gov.

Federal Student Aid Eligibility Requirements

A student must meet the minimum qualifications below before filing a FAFSA. Other restrictions may apply. 

  • You must be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen with a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
  • You must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, complete homeschooling, or pass an approved "ability to benefit" test.
  • You must enroll in an eligible program as a matriculated student seeking a degree.
  • You must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.
  • If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register or already be registered with Selective Service
  • You must not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal education loan.
  • You must have financial need (excluding unsubsidized Stafford loans).
  • You must activate a FSA ID. A parent/guardian of a dependent student must create a separate FSA ID as well.

Annual FAFSA Deadline

Continuing Students

Current students are strongly encouraged to file FAFSA by the April 1 priority deadline. This will allow ample time for the FAFSA to be processed by the federal government and for the student to review their Student Aid Report (SAR) on the FAFSA website. Students should review their SAR to ensure no further action or corrections are needed. Otherwise, incomplete applications may not be processed by our office or outstanding documents may be requested before a final determination of your financial aid can take place.

Continuing students must file the FAFSA by April 15. The student's application should include data from their household's completed income tax forms for the prior fiscal year. For example, students submitting a 2015-2016 FAFSA would use 2014 federal tax return information.


  • Applications received after April 15 may see their need based institutional aid reduced by up to 20%.
  • If your family has not yet filed taxes, please use estimated figures. After April 15, you are required to correct your FAFSA with up-to-date information. Using an estimated figure will still enable you to submit your application on time and meet our deadline.

Rejected FAFSAs

Don't forget to review your Student Aid Report (SAR) on the FAFSA website after filing to ensure that no corrections or revisions are needed on your application.

Make a Correction:

  1. Visit fafsa.ed.gov and sign in.
  2. Once logged in to your student account, click View Processed Information. A pop-up window will open up. This is your SAR. Review your SAR and note any needed corrections.
  3. Minimize the pop-up window and return to the previous page. Select Make FAFSA Corrections.
  4. Submit the corrections. The Financial Aid Administration office will receive the updated FAFSA transaction in 3-5 business days. You are encouraged to follow up with our office to ensure its receipt.

Filing Tips

We understand that filing the FAFSA can seem like an overwhelming process, but our office and the Federal Student Aid Administration are always available to help troubleshoot and assist students. We also encourage students and families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to help streamline the application. View How to File the FAFSA on YouTube.

  • Create or recover your FSA ID(s) - Student and/or Parent/Guardian. 
  • Gather your family's federal tax return(s) and W-2 statements.
  • Temporarily disable pop-up blockers on your Internet browser and computer, if enabled.
  • Manhattan College’s school code is: 002758
  • Qualifying New York State residents: Remember to re-apply for the NYS TAP Grant.
  • Don't forget to review your Student Aid Report (SAR) after filing! The FAFSA will allow you to submit your application, even if some information is incorrect or left blank. If done this way, we will receive an unusable, rejected FAFSA that can delay processing of your financial aid.
  • If your family has not yet filed taxes, please use estimated figures. After April 15, you are required to correct your FAFSA with up-to-date information.
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (under 'File FAFSA Quicker'), if possible. This will help streamline and provide more accurate information on your FAFSA.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a federal government feature that is meant to streamline data accuracy and make it easier for students/families to complete the FAFSA.

The FAFSA asks:

 “For 2014, have you completed your IRS income tax return or another tax return?”

If your answer is: Already Completed

  • If possible, have the financial information retrieved from the IRS by entering your FSA ID, logging in to the FAFSA website, and select 'Make a Correction'.
  • Under 'Financial Information' for Student and/or Parent (as applicable), click Link to IRS.
  • You will be asked for the appropriate FSA ID (parent or student, depending on which tax return you are linking) to proceed to the IRS website.

Then, follow these steps:

1.      Your FAFSA will be saved, but a new browser window or tab will open. You will then be transferred to the IRS Web site.

2.      On the IRS website, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your federal tax return. This match system is case-sensitive.

3.      Once the IRS has validated your information, your IRS tax information will display. You may then transfer your information from the IRS to your FAFSA.

4.      Once you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with Transferred from the IRS. Do not override or adjust any of these fields. Then, provide any excluded information, sign your FAFSA with your FSA ID(s), and re-submit your application.

For related questions and technical assistance: FAFSA Customer Service

Students Who Do Not or Cannot Use the IRS Retrieval Tool 

  • If you are unsuccessful with using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please complete the FAFSA manually with 2014 figures. The U.S. Department of Education may or may not select your FAFSA for verificationIf you are selected, this means that the U.S. Department of Education may require you to download an IRS tax transcript and then route that document, along with other requested information, to our office. 
  • You can tell whether or not you were selected for verification by reviewing your 2015-2016 Student Aid Report on fafsa.ed.govStudents with selected FAFSAs will be notified after May 1 to submit specific documents to our office for review before offered financial aid awards are finalized.

Students Who Already Filed FAFSA

  • If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you are strongly encouraged to log back on to fafsa.ed.gov and submit a corrected FAFSA.
  • Submitting a FAFSA correction does not change a selected student's verification status. However, our office will be able to collect less documentation from you, complete your verification review more quickly, and finalize your financial aid awards faster if you successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.