FAFSA Tips and Information for Students and Parents

Link to FAFSA on the Web:  https://fafsa.ed.gov/

FAFSA Tips and Information for Students and Parents

The office of Federal Student Aid has a website with information and videos on filling out the

 FAFSA.  If you have general questions, it is a good place to start:


For help in filling out the FAFSA:


If you need more help, please call our office at 515-271-2905 or 1-800-44-DRAKE Ext. 2905. 

Important things to remember about the FAFSA:

  • Your Federal Student Aid PIN is the personal identification number you use when you

          visit certain U.S. Department of Education websites. When you type in your PIN at

          these sites, you are saying either “Yes, it’s really me—please show me the personal

          information about me on this site” or “Please accept my PIN as my signature on this

          online form.”  Both the student and parent need a separate PIN to electronically sign

          the FAFSA.  If you do not have a PIN, or have forgotten it, there is a link on FAFSA on

         the Web to help you create/retrieve one.  A PIN expires if not used for 18 months in a


  • There are student and parent sections on the FAFSA, pay attention to which section is

          currently being completed.  The student section has darker blue/green colored

         highlights and the parent section has lavender colored highlights.  One of the most

         common mistakes Drake receives is duplicated information for either the parent or


  • The tax information can be estimated, but please be sure to go back and complete with

         the final information once taxes are complete.

  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is provided on the FAFSA if you meet certain criteria.

         The DRT allows a student or parent(s) to link to the IRS website where the correct

          financial information is transferred over to your FAFSA automatically.  Using the DRT

          satisfies the financial segment of verification, if selected. 

  • If you originally estimated, and then go back and use the DRT once taxes are filed,

          make sure after the transfer from the IRS is complete, the FAFSA is signed and

          submitted again.  A fully submitted FAFSA will generate an email to the email address

          in the FAFSA. 

  • If the DRT is not available or accessible, the IRS is now allowing for immediate

          download and printing of tax transcripts through the IRS.gov website.  Select

          “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records” under “Tools “and follow the directions for

          getting a transcript online. The only transcript acceptable for verification (if selected)

          per the Department of Education is the tax return transcript.  You may also order

          a tax return transcript by mail from IRS site.  If you are unable to access it online,

          you may fill out and send or fax in Form 4506T-EZ which allows you to send the

          form to Drake directly. 


Am I Dependent or Independent? – Link to a Student Aid website table. 

Under very limited circumstances (for example, your parents are incarcerated; you have left home due to an abusive family environment; or you do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them), you may be able to submit your FAFSA without parental information. Once you submit your FAFSA without parental data, you must follow up with the financial aid office at Drake, in order to complete your FAFSA.  However, if you feel you may have a special circumstance, please contact our office prior to completing the FAFSA. 

University News
October 2, 2015
Visionary social entrepreneur Ben Simon will present “Waste Not, Want Not: How Food Recovery Can End Hunger in the 21st Century" at Drake University on Tuesday, October 13.