Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available January 1 and must be completed every year to receive financial aid.

Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

New for 2013-2014 FAFSA

Beginning February 1, 2012, students and parents who have completed their 2012 IRS tax return will be able to Link to the IRS and transfer their Tax Return information to their FAFSA. This is a fast easy way to apply for financial aid and will satisfy most of the student financial aid verification requirements. Prairie State College Student Financial Aid Office highly recommends the use of IRS Data Retrieval during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to your 2013-2014 FAFSA.

We realize that many applicants will not have their Federal Tax Returns completed by the FAFSA priority application deadline of January 1. These applicants can use "estimated income" information on initial FAFSA and return to FAFSA on the web for corrections once their tax returns are completed. Selecting and linking to IRS database will simplify and expedite the processing of your financial aid application and the Student Financial Aid Office urges applicants to choose this option.

Unfortunately, the Data Retrieval Process cannot be used in the following circumstances and applicant will have to submit Tax Return Transcript and W2s.

  • When paper FAFSA is completed
  • Filed married filing separately Return
  • Filed Amended Return
  • Filed Foreign Return
  • Marital status changed after December 31
  • Changes to IRS Data Retrieval information on FAFSA

How to Obtain Tax Return Transcript from IRS

Applicants who do not use FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval option or who retrieve IRS data but change it, will be required to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript and copies of W2s to Student Financial Aid Office.

For Face-to-face Tax Help in Illinois contact local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Copies of your Tax Returns will no longer be accepted.