Apply for Financial Aid
To apply for Financial Aid, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Your completed FAFSA will be used by Triton College to put together your federal student aid package. Your eligibility for federal grants (which don’t have to be repaid) and federal loans (which do) will generally be based on your financial need, as determined by the information you supply on your FAFSA.
7 Steps to Applying for Financial Aid
STEP 1: Gather your documents and information:
To file your FAFSA, you'll you will need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned.
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
NOTE: If you are under the age of 24 you will also need most of the above information for your parents. If you do not have access to your tax information, you can transfer your tax info using the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
STEP 2: Visit the FAFSA Website
FAFSA.gov is the only website you should use to apply for Financial Aid. Never use any website that asks you to pay to apply for aid.
STEP 3: Create your FSA ID
Save your ID! Your FSA ID will give you access to FSA online systems and can serve as your legal signature. You will need the next time you apply for Financial Aid.
STEP 4: Begin your application:
NOTE: You will need to enter Triton's school code. The School Code for Triton College is: 001773.
STEP 5: Enter your financial information
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. If you need assistance completing the FAFSA, you should bring your documents to the Financial Aid Office and a staff member will guide you through all the steps needed in order to complete your application.
STEP 6: Complete and submit your application.
Don't forget to SUBMIT your FAFSA when you're done. Review the confirmation page and check for mistakes.
STEP 7: Submit your Transcripts
Students should contact their high school (or where they earned their State of Illinois High School Diploma) and request to have a final, official copy of their transcript sent to the Triton College Admission and Records Office.
What Happens Next?
The results of the FAFSA are necessary to begin a financial aid file. Once the FAFSA has been reviewed, additional documentation may be requested. Financial aid will not be disbursed without an official copy of a high school/State of Illinois High School Diploma transcript.
After you submit your FAFSA, you’ll get your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the office of Federal Student Aid. Your SAR is a paper or electronic document that gives you basic information about the FAFSA data you submitted, including your answers to the questions on your FAFSA. Your SAR won’t tell you how much financial aid you’ll get. If you provided an email address when you submitted your FAFSA, you can expect to receive your SAR within a few days of electronically filing or within two weeks of mailing.
After you receive your SAR, Triton will contact you via your Triton email account and let you know if additional information is required. After you submit this information, and once your file is 100 percent complete, Triton will again contact you via your Triton email account. The email you receive will explain how you can view your award letter in your Student Portal. This award letter will explain how much aid you’re eligible for.
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://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.
How can I get a copy of my tax return transcript?
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 two different ways:
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.
1. 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
- Enter the following:
- 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.
2. 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.
How soon should the FAFSA form be sent in?
We encourage students to file as soon as possible after October 1.
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.
Can I submit my financial aid application before Jan. 1?
YES. The FAFSA uses the student's/student's family's income and tax information from prior tax year to judge their eligibility for need-based financial aid during the upcoming academic year (the award year). Because of this students can now complete their FAFSA beginning October 1.
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, 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://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.