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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I apply for financial aid?

How do I get into my FAFSA to do the data retrieval tool and link to the IRS, if my FAFSA says “successfully processed”?

I cannot get the data retrieval tool in my FAFSA to work and I can’t get my transcripts from the IRS. What do I do now?

The FAFSA is asking for 70 dollars to complete. Do I need to pay it?

How often will federal financial aid pay for repeated coursework?

How will I be affected if I miss the financial aid deadline?

How do I apply for financial aid?

Do I reapply for financial aid each year?

What documents/information will I need to fill out my FAFSA?

My parents are divorced. Whose information do I need for the FAFSA?

I enrolled in the “Academic Fresh Start” program. How will this affect my financial aid?

What is the difference between dependent and independent students?

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Frequently Asked Questions
(PDF Document)

I do not get along with my parents or live with them. I pay my own rent and bills. Can I apply without my parent's income?

What eligibility requirements must I meet for financial aid?

When should I apply for financial aid?

I want to apply for a student loan. What do I need to do?

What if I had an unusual circumstance that prevented me from meeting the college's standards for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid?

Do I have to do "Entrance Counseling" for my student loan every year?

Do I have to do "Exit Counseling" for my student loan if I am not graduating?

Why was I selected for verification?

How will I know if I was selected for verification?

I qualified for the state grant, when can I expect a disbursement of funds?

How much will I get paid for work study?

When can I use my financial aid to buy my books?

How do I calculate my Grade Point Average?

How does having a criminal conviction affect my eligibility for federal student aid? (Additional Information)

What type of documentation should I turn in with my SAP Appeal?

What is the Cost Of Attendance?


Why should I apply for financial aid?

You should apply for financial aid every year, even if you think you don't qualify. Any change in family circumstances might affect your eligibility, such as a brother/sister starting college. You may be eligible for monies that are funded by the state and federal government and do not have to be paid back.

How do I get into my FAFSA to do the data retrieval tool and link to the IRS, if my FAFSA says “successfully processed”?

  1. Click the link that says “Make FAFSA corrections”.
  2. Enter your PIN number and create a password.
  3. Once you get logged in, click the “financial information” tab
  4. Follow the steps to in the video.

I cannot get the data retrieval tool in my FAFSA to work and I can’t get my transcripts from the IRS. What do I do now?

  1.  You can print the form to request your tax return transcript and wage transcript. and fax it to the IRS listed on the form
  2.  You can stop by our office for a paper copy of the form so we can fax it to the IRS
  3.  You can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to request a copy of your tax return transcript and wage transcript.

The FAFSA is asking for 70 dollars to complete. Do I need to pay it?

  1. FAFSA stands for FREE APPLICATION for FEDERAL STUDENT AID you should NEVER have to pay for the FAFSA.
  2. You should verify you’re on the correct website: www.fafsa.ed.gov

How often will federal financial aid pay for repeated coursework?

If you have taken and passed a course (with a grade of D or higher), federal financial aid will now only pay for you to repeat this course one time. Should you decide to repeat a course for a second (or more) time, federal financial aid will not cover the cost of that course.

How will I be affected if I miss the financial aid deadline?

Financial aid deadlines are one of the most important things to consider when applying for financial aid. If you miss the deadline, this can result in classes being dropped for non-payment. At certain times, classes cannot be added back for any reason.

How do I apply for financial aid?

  • Go to the web site www.pin.ed.gov and apply for a PIN (Personal Identification Number). You will need to keep your PIN for future reference.
  • Go to the web site www.fafsa.ed.gov and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application will be evaluated by the Department of Education. Within 3-5 business days an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you and the Financial Aid Office.
  • The Financial Aid Office will evaluate the SAR to determine if your application was selected for verification. If you have been selected for verification you will need to supply the Financial Aid Office with necessary documents such as copies of Federal IRS Tax Return Transcripts, verification worksheets (filled out through myPellissippi), etc. If you have been selected for verification you will need to complete all financial aid requirements either online at through myPellissippi or using the Link to the IRS tool located in your FAFSA.
  • Click here for more information on applying for Financial Aid...

Do I reapply for financial aid each year?

You will need to renew your FAFSA form each year. This will be a much easier process than before as 75% of the information is pre-printed. You will need to provide any new income/asset information. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to fill out the renewal FAFSA.

What documents/information will I need to fill out my FAFSA?

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver's license (if any)
  • Your W-2 forms and other records of money earned (from the previous year)
  • Your (and your spouse's, if you are married) Federal Income Tax return (from the previous year) IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, Foreign Tax return, or Tax return for Puerto Rico, Gaum, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau.
  • Your parent's Federal Income Tax return (if you are a dependent student)
  • Your untaxed income records (from previous year)
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records.
  • Your alien registration or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. Citizen)

**Keep these records!! You may need them again.

My parents are divorced. Whose information do I need for the FAFSA?

The parent with whom you lived with the most during the past year should complete the FAFSA. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, use the information from the parent who provided you with the most financial support. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes.

I enrolled in the “Academic Fresh Start” program. How will this affect my financial aid?

Academic Fresh Start clears ONLY your academic record. When deciding your eligibility for financial aid, the school must still count ALL prior credits attempted for purposes of calculating GPA and PACE (hours attempted vs completed).

What is the difference between dependent and independent students?

  • Were you born before January 1, 1990?
  • At the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program?
  • As of today, are you married?
  • Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2014?
  • Are both of your parents deceased, or are you (or were you until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are considered an independent student.

I do not get along with my parents or live with them. I pay my own rent and bills. Can I apply without my parent's income?

No. Unless you meet the definition of an independent student based on Department of Education guidelines or have an extenuating circumstance that can be documented via a Request for Dependency Override, you must use your parent's income.

What eligibility requirements must I meet for Financial Aid?

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be enrolled at an eligible institution and in a program that leads to a degree
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Register with Selective Service (if applicable)
  • Have financial need

When should I apply for financial aid?

You should complete a FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of each year. This will help ensure the funds are available to you when tuition and fees are due. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received so try to get your FAFSA filled out as early as possible. You will also need to keep a copy of your tax return in case the Financial Aid Office needs a copy.

I want to apply for a student loan.  What do I need to do?

Follow the step-by-step process outlined at Steps for Applying for a Student Loan

Do I have to do "Entrance Counseling" for my student loan every year?

No, you only need to do the Entrance Counseling once while at Pellissippi State.

Do I have to do "Exit Counseling" for my student loan if I am not graduating?

Yes, Exit Counseling must be done as you exit Pellissippi State. If you come back, even the very next semester, and take out another loan it must be done when you exit again.

Why was I selected for verification?

FAFSA selects 30% of all applicants and requires the school to verify the information provided. It is a random process and does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong.

How will I know if I was selected for verification?

You can check Your myPellissippi account to see if you are selected for verification and see what forms are needed. You can also track the process on your account from start to finish.

I qualified for the state grant.  When can I expect a disbursement of funds?  

Please check your myPellissippi account to see when funds are available

How much will I get paid for work study?

Work study will pay $7.25 an hour for fall and spring semesters.

When can I use my financial aid to buy my books?

A student who has submitted all of their financial aid documents by the priority deadline can take advantage of the bookstore charge period if the student has excess financial aid. If your financial aid was not completed within this timeframe, you will need to make arrangements to purchase your books and supplies and reimburse yourself when financial aid comes in.

What type of documentation should I turn in with my SAP Appeal?

The type of documentation will vary, depending on what your extenuating circumstances are. A police report, doctor’s note, or death certificate are all good examples of acceptable documentation. Whatever the documentation is, it should clearly support the statements made in your appeal, and provide a record of circumstances beyond your control.

What Is The Cost Of Attendance?

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the total cost of attending an institution, and it includes transportation, room/board, tuition/fees, supplies, books, and other expenses. COA is also the maximum amount of financial aid that a student can receive during an academic period.