FAFSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


 What is Triton's Title IV school code? 

The Triton College Title IV school code is 001773.  


  Where can I get a copy of the FAFSA?
An instruction worksheet outlining the FAFSA is available at the Triton College Financial Aid Office. However, the actual FAFSA application must be completed on the Web at http://www.fafsa.gov.

 How can I get a copy of my W-2 Forms?
Students may request a copy of their W-2 Forms (Wage Transcript) from their employer or by calling the IRS Customer Service number at (800) 829-1040.
 
Online Request: Get Transcript ONLINE 
  • To request a tax transcript online, please visit www.IRS.gov and select “Get Transcripts of your Tax Records” located under the “Tools” section.
  • Select the “Get Transcript ONLINE””
  • Step 1: Sign up – First Name-Last Name-Email-Confirm Email
  • Select: “Send email confirmation code”
  • Step 2: Enter conformation code that was sent to your email 0000-0000
  • Select: “Verify email confirmation code”
  • Step 3: Social Security Number-Date of Birth (day, month, year)- Filing Status -Street Address -Zip code – phone number (optional)
  • To proceed as a guest you must check the box under the phone number option. Otherwise you will be asked to create an account.
  • Select: “continue”
  • Step 4: Answer identity questions
  • Select: “continue”
  • Step 5: Get Transcripts  
  • If you are requesting W2 forms select the correct year under “Wage and Income Transcript”

 


  How can I get a copy of my tax return transcript?

IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

If you meet the following criteria, it is best to sign back into your FAFSA and complete the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS income information:

  • You e-filed your taxes at least 2 weeks ago or paper filed at least 6 weeks ago.
  • You filed “Married filing jointly” or “Single”.
  • You did not file an amended tax form.
  • You did not file a foreign tax form.
  • There was no change in your marital status since December 31st of the tax year

If you do not meet the above criteria please choose one of the below methods of requesting your IRS Tax Transcript.

Tax filers may request a Tax Return Transcript of their federal taxes directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Tax transcripts are free and can be requested one of four different ways:

 

Online Request:

  • To request a tax transcript online, please visit www.IRS.gov and select “Get Transcripts of your Tax Records” located under the “Tools” section
  • Select the “Get Transcript ONLINE”
    • Step 1: Sign up – First Name – Last Name – Email – Confirm Email
      • Select “Send email confirmation code”
    • Step 2: Enter confirmation code that was sent to your email 0000-0000
      • Select “Verify email confirmation code
    • Step 3: Social Security Number – Date of Birth (day, month, year) – Filing status – Street Address – Zip code – Phone Number (optional)
      • To proceed as a guest you must check the box under the phone number option, otherwise you will be asked to create an account
      • Select “Continue”
    • Step 4: Answer identity questions
      • Select “Continue”
    • Step 5: Get Transcripts
      • Indicate why you are requesting the transcripts
      • When you select “Higher Education/Student Aid” the system will show you which option is most likely required, “Return Transcript”
      • Select the year requested in the “Return Transcript” section
    • Step 6: After you select the year and form you wish to retrieve, your document will download
  • If you are requesting W2 forms select the correct year under “Wage and Income Transcript”
  • If you are requesting a non-tax filer statement select the correct year under Return Transcript The year will have an asterisk (*) by it to identify non tax filing year

Please note: Online and telephone IRS Tax Return Transcripts requests cannot be sent to a third party by the IRS and will take 5-10 days to process.

Online Request: Get Transcripts by MAIL

  • To request a tax transcript online, please visit www.IRS.gov and select “Get Transcripts of your Tax Records” located under the “Tools” section
  • Select the “Get Transcript by MAIL”
  • Social Security Number- Date of Birth (day, month, year)-Street Address - Zip code
  • For “Type of Transcript” select: RETURN TRANSCRIPT
  • For “Tax Year” select: the year you are requesting
  • Select Continue

A confirmation page should generate telling you they have received your request for a tax transcript and it should be received within 5-10 days to the address entered in their request.

Telephone Request:

  • To request a tax transcript by telephone, please call the IRS at: 1-800-908-9946.
  • At the prompt enter the following tax filer information
    • Social Security Number, press 1 to confirm
    • Street number from address ( ex: 301 Oak Street, just enter 301)
  • For a “Tax RETURN Transcript”, press “2”
  • Select the tax year you are requesting

 

To speak to an IRS representative you may call 1-800-829-1040

 

Local IRS Office:

Your tax return transcript request can be processed the same day often in a matter of minutes depending on the volume of requests ahead of you. 

The closest IRS Office to the Triton College Campus is located in Schiller Park at 5100 River Road. The office operates from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


  • We encourage students to file as soon as possible after Jan. 1. If a student would like to file early (before taxes are completed), they may do so by providing estimates of income, so long as they aren't very far off from the actual values. Students must keep in mind that they will have to log back into their online FAFSA account and provide the actual information from their 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and W-2 when they have their completed taxes.
  • Students are encouraged to use the "IRS Data Retrieval" tool when completing the FAFSA. The retrieval tool will save you time and increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information. 

 


 

Why can't I submit my financial aid application before Jan. 1?
The FAFSA uses the student’s/student’s family's income and tax information from the most recent tax year (the base year) to judge their eligibility for need-based financial aid during the upcoming academic year (the award year). Since the base year ends Dec. 31, students cannot submit a financial aid application until Jan. 1 for the following fall. If a student attempts to submit the financial aid application before Jan. 1, it will be rejected.


 

I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago but haven't heard anything. What should I do?
 After completing the FAFSA students should expect an email immediately confirming  their submission from FAFSA to the email they provided on their application. 48-72 hours later another email should arrive confirming that your FAFSA has been “Processed Successfully” and sent to the schools you chose when filling out the application. This email should also offer a link to view your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your FAFSA is received by Triton College three days after successful processing. 

Common errors preventing successful submission or processing can include 

  • The exclusion of an electronic signature for either the parent or student 
  • Failure to select the “Submit” button after reviewing the information entered 
  • Discrepancies in income information (commonly a student or parent will report that they have paid more in taxes than they’ve made simply because they have not carefully read all instructions)

The most common error preventing Triton from accessing your FAFSA is: 

  • The exclusion of Triton’s School Code (001773). If the code of the school you choose to attend was not included on your FAFSA, that school does not have access and cannot begin assessing your file and packaging your award.  
  • Student has not provided their social security number to Triton College, Admission and Records Office  

The semester has already begun. Is it too late to apply for financial aid?
No, it is not too late! The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed until June 30 each year. The only requirement is that the student must still be enrolled in classes at the time of their application. The FAFSA is available online at http://www.fafsa.gov.

My parents will not help me pay for school. Can I file as an “independent”?
The Federal government considers a student to be Independent if they meet one or more of these criteria:

  • Are 24 years of age or older.
  • Have already received their first bachelor’s degree and will be working towards their master’s or doctorate degree during the FAFSA-related academic year.
  • Are married (including those who are separated but not divorced).
  • Have children for whom they provide more than half of the economic support.
  • Have dependents other than a child or spouse, for whom they provide more than half of the economic support.
  • Are an orphan (both parents are deceased) or ward of the court, or were a ward of the court until the age of 18.
  • Are considered Unaccompanied Homeless Youth who lack safe, stable housing and who are not in the care of a parent or guardian.  
  • Are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
  • Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

All other students are considered to be dependent, and the parents’ information and signature will be required on the FAFSA. Students will be required to provide information supporting claims of independence where applicable. If a student believes they have a situation that should be considered individually, ask to speak with a Financial Aid advisor. 


 What is an EFC and how is it used to determine my eligibility?
The Federal Government considers the student/student’s family to be primarily responsible for the cost of the student’s education. The Department of Education uses the information reported on a student’s FAFSA to estimate how much money the student/student’s family is able to pay toward their education. This amount is called an EFC, which stands for Expected Family Contribution. The EFC does not represent what the student/student’s family may actually need to contribute towards the student’s education; it is an estimated amount which is compared to the actual cost of attending Triton College.

The remaining amount is called unmet financial need (Cost of Attendance – EFC = Financial Need). The Triton College Financial Aid Office will award the maximum amount of financial aid for which the student is eligible in an effort to meet Financial Need.

 


Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year? 
Yes, there are no exceptions to this. If a student or family’s financial circumstances change, they may be eligible for more or less aid. The student’s eligibility for financial aid may change significantly depending on change in family income, size and number of members enrolled in college.

 

What should I do if changes occur after I file the FAFSA?
If divorce, death, loss of employment or another major change occurs in the family situation, affecting the student/student’s family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education, the student should contact the Triton College Financial Aid Office to speak to a financial aid advisor who will discuss their options with them.

 

 


 

 
Please direct any further questions to:

The Financial Aid Office
Student Center Building
Room B-216W
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3155

The Admission Call Center
Student Center Building
Room B-216E
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3130