Financial Aid FAQ
1. Do I have to complete both forms, the FAFSA and PROFILE?
Saint Mary's wants to consider your unique circumstances when you apply for financial assistance, the same way we consider them when you apply for admission. You are required by federal regulations to complete the FAFSA to demonstrate eligibility for federal and state funding.
We do not believe, however, that the FAFSA alone paints the best picture of your financial situation. In order to be considered for additional need-based Saint Mary's financial assistance, please complete the CSS PROFILE. While there is a minimum charge for completing the form, the PROFILE service automatically provides fee waivers to domestic (U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens) first-time students from families with low incomes and limited assets. The information we receive from the PROFILE will assist us in determining your eligibility for additional Saint Mary's aid.
2. Whose information should be included on the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE?
- If the student is dependent per Federal guidelines, the application questions pertain to the student and her custodial parent(s).
- If the student's biological parents are divorced (or were never married), you must determine who is the custodial parent. Typically, this is the parent with whom the student resides. The other parent is considered non-custodial, and should complete the Non-Custodial Parent CSS/PROFILE application. In rare circumstances, the need for the Non-Custodial PROFILE application can be waived. To apply for a waiver of the Non-Custodial PROFILE requirement, complete the Saint Mary's Non-Custodial PROFILE Waiver application.
- If the student does not reside with either parent, the parent who provides more than 50% of her financial support is classified as the custodial parent.The other parent is considered non-custodial.
- Step-parents must be included as part of the applicable parent's household, and their income and tax information must be reported accordingly.
- If the student is independent per Federal guidelines, the application questions pertain only to the student (and her spouse, if applicable). Parental information is not reported for independent students.
3. What information is typically needed to apply for aid?
- Federal income tax returns and any W2 or K-1 forms for the base tax year. The base tax year is the calendar year prior to the start of the academic term. For the 2014-15 school year, use 2013 tax information. If your 2013 taxes have not been completed yet, use estimated information at this time.
- Information regarding the current market value and debt owed on: 1.) any investments (stocks, bonds, trusts, etc.), 2.) any business(es) or farm owned by the family, 3.) the primary residence of the family, 4.) any other real estate holdings.
- The current value of cash on-hand and the current balance of any bank accounts (checking, savings, money market, etc.)
- Federal PIN numbers for the student and the parent
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) school code: 001836
- CSS/PROFILE application school code: 1702
- For the CSS/PROFILE: Value and source of any retirement benefits
- Special Circumstances Form, if applicable