About the FAFSA
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form for current and prospective college students to determine their need-based aid. The FAFSA is completed through the Federal Student Aid website.
- The FAFSA is free. Don’t use a service that charges!
- Complete the FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible. Some financial aid is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Include the Donnelly College school code: 001914
- Check your Donnelly email account, as governmental requests for additional information or documentation will be emailed to you.
- If Donnelly’s Financial Aid department requests additional documentation, please reply to the request quickly so your aid isn’t delayed.
Donnelly College FAFSA School Code: 001914
Complete Donnelly’s Financial Aid Process
- First, submit the FAFSA.
- Submit any supplemental forms requested by Donnelly's Financial Aid.
- Enroll in an eligible certificate or degree program.
Donnelly College expects parents and students to contribute what they can toward the cost of the student’s education. To the extent that funds are available, offers to assist with financial need will be considered.
Student aid funds are made available only for purposes directly related to obtaining an education at Donnelly College, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, transportation and modest personal expenses. The classes a financial aid recipient takes must go toward an eligible academic program.
Some students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are selected for the verification process. There is nothing specific that will automatically cause you to be selected for verification. Nationwide, approximately 30% of the applications are selected. The verification process requests that students and parents confirm the information that was submitted originally on the FAFSA. This involves having the student (and the parents) use the IRS Data Retrieval tool available on the FAFSA’s online page and providing Donnelly with a signed "Verification Worksheet.”
Once Donnelly receives a student’s application, additional documentation is required to complete the application process. These items can include tax information, verification of information listed on the application, citizenship documentation, transcripts from previous schools, etc. Please contact the financial aid office with any questions about these additional items.
Professional Judgement / Special Circumstances
Sometimes the information provided on the FAFSA does not reflect a family’s current resources or ability to pay for college because financial circumstances have changed due to special or extenuating circumstances. These special circumstances can include:
- An unforeseen loss of employment or income
- The death of a parent or spouse
- The divorce or separation of a student or parent
- An income reduction of 20% or more due to factors beyond the person’s control
- A significant income reduction due to the loss of child support
- Unusually high medical or dental expenses that aren’t covered by insurance
- A one-time increase in parent income due to an IRA distribution or pension withdrawal
Professional Judgement refers to the school’s authority to make adjustments, on a case-by-case basis, to information on the FAFSA so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the number that the school uses to determine if a student is eligible for need based financial aid.
Please note: Families with a zero EFC do not qualify for a Professional Judgement as your EFC cannot be reduced further. Changes resulting from this review do not guarantee an increase in your aid since a loss of income may not necessarily impact your financial aid eligibility. Not every situation warrants a review nor does every review guarantee a change in any federal aid awards.
The Professional Judgement process is an extensive process that requires a thorough review to determine what, if any changes, may be appropriate based on your FAFSA application. In many cases, an adjustment does not increase the student’s eligibility for grants or the total amount of aid offered. Be aware that if a student receives Federal Pell Grant, it may be reduced or lost because it is based on the original EFC.
The Financial Aid office reserves the right to deny any appeals that would not increase a student’s eligibility for aid. The decision of the Financial Aid office is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education. If you feel you have special or extenuating circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid office.
If you are currently experiencing financial hardships and need financial assistance, please complete the Financial Assistance Request Form. The Financial Aid office will review your request and then contact you.