- Forgetting to sign the application. If you are a dependent student, be sure both you and a parent sign the FAFSA using your PIN numbers
- For income reporting, parents often use their W-2 forms. They should take the Adjusted Gross Income directly from their 1040 federal tax return, not from the W-2.
- When reporting taxes paid, parents often use the taxes withheld on their W-2 form and not their actual tax liability. The FAFSA is specific about which line of the 1040 should be reported for taxes paid.
- Not reporting all required sources of untaxed income. Be sure to include Social Security, child support paid, payments from Department of Human Services (DHS) and payments to tax-deferred pension and savings plans reported on your W-2 forms.
- Divorced parents sometimes include their ex-spouse’s income. They should report only their income and that of their current spouse.
- Not following instructions.
CAUTION: When you complete an application for financial aid, you are applying for government funds. Providing false or intentionally misleading information is a felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It is the obligation of the Office of Financial Aid Services to submit the files of students suspected of committing fraud or attempted fraud to the Inspector General’s Office. Students who commit, or attempt to commit fraud, may also be subject to institutional disciplinary action.