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Dependent Students Getting Married

Getting married can affect the FAFSA for dependent students. Changes in marital status submitted after April 1st will not be considered for the current year.

Filing the FAFSA

The FAFSA is a “snapshot” of your status on the day you submit it. Therefore, report your marital status as of the day you submit the FAFSA.

We advise that you submit your FAFSA before the February 15 priority date. Once married, you can change your marital status on the FAFSA and retain your priority status. If you’re a dependent student who will marry after submitting the FAFSA, you can update your marital status on FAFSA to better reflect your ability to pay.

Instructions for Dependent FAFSA Applicants Getting Married:

Name changes: We recommend that you not change your name on the FAFSA yet (if you have legally changed your name) unless you have a Social Security card in your possession that has your new name on it.

What to change on your FAFSA: Follow these instructions carefully to avoid delays.

UPDATE THE FINANCIAL SECTION OF YOUR EXISTING FAFSA:

  1. Add both your and your spouse’s Adjusted Gross Incomes together and enter the new number in the Adjusted Gross Income field.
  2. Do the same for taxes paid and exemptions.
  3. Enter each of your individual earnings into the “Student” and “Spouse” field.
  4. Combine cash, checking, and savings.
  5. Review and change the “Additional Financial Information” section that asks about education credits, child support paid, earnings from work-study, and combat pay.
  6. Combine and add untaxed income. Review all items, especially:
      • Money received or paid on your behalf (e.g. bills)
      • Housing, food and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy, and others (missionaries, resident advisors, and graduate assistants) with housing benefits. This includes cash received as well as the cash value of these benefits.

UPDATE THE DEMOGRAPHIC SECTION OF YOUR FAFSA:

  1. Change the questions that ask if you are married, the date of your marital status change, and say “Yes” to the question asking if you were married at the time you first completed your FAFSA. You will receive an “error” pop-up window to make certain that you know there are inconsistencies with the marital status date and the date of your FAFSA. Continue with “Yes” as the answer.
  2. Change the questions regarding the number of people in your household and how many household members are in college.

What to Expect after You Update Your FAFSA

Your updated FAFSA will be rejected by the federal processor, but that’s okay. We will watch for the new FAFSA transaction and will do a comparison of your financial aid eligibility before and after you made the changes. The counselor reviewing your FAFSA will consider several items, including, but not limited to:

  • The timing of the change in relation to the academic year.
  • The type and amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive before and after the change.
  • Whether or not the changes address an inequity or reflect more accurately your ability to pay towards your educational expenses.

If the counselor accepts the marital status change, the “rejected” status of the FAFSA will be fixed, and you’ll be notified by the federal processor that a correction has been made.

All recently married FAFSA applicants (changing from dependent to independent) will receive a BroncoMail email message with the results of the FAFSA review.

  • If your financial aid is obviously better, we will update your financial aid award.
  • If it is questionable whether your financial aid is better, we will email you with options.

Verification of the FAFSA

All students that go through this process will be selected for verification. Please visit our verification web page for more information on this process.