Common application Errors

Using an incorrect student social security number -- refer to an official document, such as your Social Security card. The FAFSA cannot be processed without a proper social security number. Do not risk your eligibility for aid by an avoidable error.

Reporting name incorrectly -- report your name as it appears on your Social Security card. Do not use nicknames or Confirmation middle initials. A computer match with the Social Security Administration recorded name must agree with the FAFSA name.

Misreporting the amount of federal tax paid -- DO NOT report the amount of federal income tax withheld from paychecks, self employment taxes, or amounts paid to states. Report the line item from the tax return as instructed on the application. If a tax return will be filed at a later date, estimate the tax to be paid.

Neglecting to report all applicant's assets -- an aunt's or grandparent's fund in the applicant's name at the time of filing the form must be reported as well as any trust funds.

Misreporting parents marital status -- as of the day you file the FAFSA, what is your parent(s)' marital status.

Misreporting the number of people in the family household -- don't take a headcount for this question. Report only the number of family members who will continue to receive more than half support from parents between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Older children who reside at home but provide more than half of their support should not be included. Review the instructions for this section carefully. 

Failure to report federally untaxed income on the application -- The most common omissions include: annual IRA and KEOGH contributions, contributions to 401(k) and 403(b) pension plans (review W-2's carefully), earned income credit, and tax exempt interest. Don't assume your family has no untaxed income. Review every item on the verification form or the untaxed income worksheet contained in the application.