HELP - FAFSA Filing Question





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Discus: Financial Aid and Scholarships: May 2004 - Archive: HELP - FAFSA Filing Question
By Psa (Psa) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 11:51 am: Edit

I'm a brand new immigrant of the United States. My family and I just got our green cards this year, and we plan to move to California from our previous country this August.

The bad news is: well, the school I'm admitted in seems to think I should refile my financial aid application as an U.S. permanent resident now. (I filed my entire application as an international student. I got my gren card after the application process was completed.) I notified the school immediately when my status changed, but did not receive further correspondence from the school on this matter.

When I received my big "congratulations" envelope, it bugged me that I received no award letter. So began a long and toiling process with the Financial Aid Office. Anyway, they want me to submit the CSS Profile and the FAFSA.

My biggest problem is:
I don't even have a social security number yet!
I can't even get through the first page of FAFSA, since the system won't let me file it without the social security number filled in! Is there a paper FAFSA somewhere?

P.S. what is the "itemized deductions?"

It's almost impossible for my family to fill the CSS Profile forms, considering we have never even filed a U.S. tax return before. So tedious and frustrating! What happened to my promised international student aid!

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit

I am not sure what you mean about your "promised" international student aid. Who promised you aid? I don't know which school you are in, but am assuming you are in one of the few who are need blind to international students.

The reason you need a FAFSA is so you can get federal funds thereby saving the college from using their own funds that can be used for other students that are not eligible for federal funds. Get moving on getting that social security number--find out where the nearest office is, what you need to bring with you and get that number. You cannot get federal aid without a social security number. And you can fill the Profile and FAFSA even without a tax return, just answer the pertinant questions. This is what everyone has to do who wants financial aid.

By Psa (Psa) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 09:19 am: Edit

Thanks.

So I should file the CSS Profile right away, and then file the FAFSA after I have aquired my social security number?

Sorry for the "promised aid" angst; it's just frustrating to have to reapply for financial aid all over again. We're not familiar with the U.S. taxation system yet, and the questions on the CSS Profile and FAFSA are driving us nuts. It's terribly confusing. And we already have a lot of immigration problems tumbling in our dizzy heads. We're happy to come to America, but the process of moving into a new country is proving itself to be both daunting and tiring.

I got so touchy because it took two whole months and almost ten letters and emails for the school to reply a short message on our current financial aid status. This kind of efficiency is rare for those "few schools". Maybe they mistook my emails and letters as spam?

By Optimizerdad (Optimizerdad) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 11:02 am: Edit

Psa:
As for your question about 'itemized deductions' - it has to do with calculating the actual amount of your income that is taxed by the federal government. There are certain expenses (e.g. interest paid on home mortgages, large medical expenses, state taxes,...) that can be deducted from your gross income, in order to calculate the taxable income. These are itemized on a specific form, and are called 'itemized deductions'.

You may want to visit the US government website www.irs.gov/formspubs/ for online access to all forms + instruction manuals dealing with federal taxes.

By Nedad (Nedad) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 04:19 am: Edit

Some people live in the US their entire lives, with their parents and grandparents etc. paying taxes for many, many generations, and they don't get financial aid. I hope this works out for you, and you get the papers in, but rather than be "touchy," maybe you should be a little more grateful to a country that allows a brand-new, noncitizen immigrant to appply for aid, including subsidized loans - subsidized by American taxpayers.
(I am 100% in favor of foreign students studying here; I am only gently commenting on your attitude).

By Psa (Psa) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 05:07 am: Edit

I'm deeply truly sorry. I know I'm extremely lucky to be offered aid assistance, while there are countless others struggling along every day trying to support themselves and their families, let alone worry about pursuing an education. I was just scared that maybe the admissions office made a mistake in accepting me and were trying to repel me by giving me the cold shoulder and ignoring my countless inquiries on my aid. Strange things goes on in one's head when one is faced with such problems.

After 3 months of silence, the Financial Aid Office has finally replied (they said that it had been a hectic summer etc. I know it's true since they finalize aid & awards in these months. Somewhere along the line they probably just looked over my case.) Anyway, I've filed the CSS Profile, and the Financial Aid Office will wait for me until I get my Social Security and file the FAFSA. Much ado about nothing.

I'm once again sorry if I bothered you guys. I guess I worry too much.

By Nedad (Nedad) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 07:24 am: Edit

That's good news, Psa. Welcome to the US (don't know if you are here yet, or on your way). I hope you like it, and learn a lot about America, its history, and Americans (we - and our country - are not what the world media paints us to be!). Do you want to tell us where you are going to school? Good luck either way.


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