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:

  • The Federal Student Aid PIN has been replaced by the FSA ID.  The FSA ID is a permanent and unique user name/password combination.  Both the student and the parent need their own FSA ID to complete the FAFSA.  When logging into a Federal Student Aid site (FAFSA.gov, NSLDS.ed.gov, studentloans.gov, teach-ats.ed.gov, and studentaid.gov), there will be an option to create an FSA ID if you have not done so already.  If you know your  Federal Student Aid PIN associated with your Social Security Number, you will be able to link it to your FSA ID with will automatically allow you to use your FSA ID at all the above sites.   If you do not know your Federal Student Aid PIN, or your PIN cannot be verified for other reasons, your FSA ID will have to go through verification at the Social Security Administration, which will take about 3 days. You will have limited access to certain applications on Federal Student Aid sites until the verification is complete. You may also request a secure code be sent to your email address used to set up the FSA ID in order substitute the email address for the user ID.   See  FSA ID FAQ for more information.  
  • 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 student.
  • The tax information can be estimated, but please be sure to go back and complete withthe 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 availbable or accessible, you may order a tax transcript.  The Tax Return Transcript is the only type of transcript that is acceptable for verification (if selected) per the Department of Education.  You may order the Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS online, by phone, or by sending form 4506-T-EZ  by mail.  The transcript will be mailed to you, normally within 10 working days.  


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
November 30, 2015
Dylan DeClerk received an "Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy" award from the The Central Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.