Helpful Hints for completing the FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE

Graduate Students

FAFSA Code: 003613

File for aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming year as soon as possible after January 1.

What are the deadlines for grad students?

  • Incoming Freshman: February 15
  • Incoming Transfers: April 15
  • Returning Students: April 15

Only undergraduate students need to complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

  • Apply each year that you wish to receive aid. It's okay to use estimated income figures if you have not yet completed your federal income tax returns. You can correct the data later when you have the final figures.
  • Read the directions carefully. Don't skip items you don't understand. For help, call 1-800-4FED-AID (800/433-3243). You may also consult your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office for assistance.
  • Verify that the student's and parent's social security numbers are correct. An error will cause significant delays.
  • Dependent students must report parent income and asset information on the FAFSA. Do not report a grandparent or other relative's information even if you are living with and/or being supported by that person. If you have questions on what parental information needs to be provided on the FAFSA, contact your Financial Aid Advisor. College Board Non-Custodial Parent Profile may be required.
  • Use your Department of Education PIN to sign the FAFSA. If either the student or the parent fails to do so, processing will be delayed.

529 Plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

529 Plan

A 529 plan is a state-operated investment plan designed to help families save for future college costs. All 50 states offer 529 plans. Texas' 529 plan is called Texas Tomorrow Fund.

How to report 529 plans on the FAFSA

  • If the parent is the owner of the program, the value is reported on the FAFSA as a parent asset. Note that you should report the value of all programs or plans, not just the one for the student applying for aid. For plans established by someone other than the student's parent, the value of the account is not reported on the FAFSA.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Coverdell accounts are trusts created exclusively to pay the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary of the trust.

How to report Coverdell on the FAFSA

  • If the parent is the owner of the program, the value is reported on the FAFSA as a parent asset. Note that you should report the value of all programs or plans, not just the one for the student applying for aid. For plans established by someone other than the student's parent, the value of the account is not reported on the FAFSA.

Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA)

UGMA and UTMA are custodial accounts that allow parents to transfer assets to their minor children.

How to report UGMA and UTMA on the FAFSA

  • Custodial accounts are considered assets of the student.