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Financial Aid Application Procedures

Completing 2016-2017 FAFSA Online


Applications for financial aid are available beginning January 1, 2016 for the following academic year at Students who complete their online application and submit all required documents by the July 1 priority deadline increase their potential to receive the maximum aid available from each of the financial aid programs.

  • Community College of Rhode Island Priority Deadline: July 1, 2016

Completing the FAFSA

The following is a list of information you will need to complete the 2016-2017 FAFSA:

  • FSA ID-a username and password (Replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN)
  • Social Security Number and Driver’s License
  • Parents’ Social Security Number (if applicable)
  • W-2 forms or other records of income earned in 2015
  • Your (and your parents, if you are dependent) 2015 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Records of other untaxed income received such as child support, payments to tax-deferred pension plans, veteran’s benefits, or military or clergy allowances
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds and other investments
  • Business or farm records, if applicable
  • Alien Registration Card (if you are not a US Citizen)
  • CCRI’s School Code is 004916

The financial aid office will no longer accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and or parents for FAFSA verification purposes. If your application is selected for verification, and you do not elect to use the IRS Data Retrieval or change the data that is electronically retrieved from the IRS, you will be required to submit a tax transcript directly from the IRS.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents who have already filed their 2015 Federal Income Tax Returns with the IRS will be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA application. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to have their tax information securely transferred to the FAFSA making the application process quicker and easier.

FAFSA is free

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a free application; you do not have to pay a fee to complete it. If you need assistance completing your FAFSA please visit or contact the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) to schedule an appointment (401) 455-6028.

Avoid Delays

Avoid Processing Delays of Your Application: Read these frequently asked questions to assist you in completing your FAFSA

Frequently asked Questions:

  1. Q: What is the IRS Data Retrieval?

    A: The Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service have developed this process to simplify the steps needed to complete the FAFSA. This process allows student and parent income information to be electronically input onto your FAFSA by the IRS. In order to successfully utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Process the following must be true:
    1. Have a 2015 Federal Tax return filed with the IRS
      1. If filing electronically, please allow at least two weeks for data to be available.
      2. If filing a paper return, please allow 6-8 weeks for data to be available.
    2. Have a valid social security number
    3. Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
      1. To either establish a PIN or retrieve your PIN, please visit
    By utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval process the student will:
    1. Eliminate requesting federal income tax return transcripts, as long as FAFSA data fields populated by the IRS are not changed/adjusted.
    2. Avoid reporting errors and processing delays of your FAFSA
  2. Q: Who is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval?

    A: You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process if any of the following apply:
    1. Marital status of student or parent (of dependent student) changes after December 31, 2015
    2. Student or parent (of dependent student) filed married filing separately
    3. Student or parent (of dependent student) filed an amended tax return
    4. Student or parent (of dependent student) filed a foreign tax return
    5. Either student or parent (of dependent student) lists married as marital status and filed tax return as head of household
  3. Q: How does the IRS Data Retrieval Tool work?

    A: The following steps will assist you with completing the data retrieval process
    1. Enter your FSA ID and click Link to IRS
    2. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Website
    3. On the IRS website, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.
    4. Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS website. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS website, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
    5. If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with "Transferred from the IRS."
  4. Q: My parents and I have not filed our tax returns yet and I need to file my FAFSA. What should I do?

    A: You should still submit your FAFSA online. You and your parents (if applicable) may file your FAFSA using W-2 forms and 1099’s for 2015 income information or estimate income amounts using 2014 tax returns. Once you have filed your federal tax returns, the financial aid office strongly encourages you to log back into your processed application, and utilize the IRS Data Retrieval through the FAFSA corrections process.
  5. Q: I was unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. How do I get an IRS Tax Transcript?

    A: There are three ways to request your tax transcript: by phone, online, or by mail. When requesting the transcript, please make sure you are requesting a tax transcript. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account; these forms do not include all of the lines necessary to complete verification of your application.

    To order online:
    Go to then select the following:
    Click Order a Return or Account Transcript
    Click Order a Transcript under Step 3
    Complete information requested: Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Street Address and Zip Code
    Click Continue
    Select Transcript for Tax Year (i.e. 2015)
    Click Continue
    Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5-10 days from the IRS

    To order by phone:
    Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946
    Choose Language Selection
    Input Social Security Number of Tax filer
    Enter and verify number of street address
    Choose Option 2
    Enter applicable tax year
    Press 1
    Press 1 if correct
    Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5-10 days from the IRS

    To order by mail:
    Retrieve Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return Form) online at:
    Mail completed for to the address indicated on the form.
    Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5-10 days from the IRS

    REMINDER: The financial aid office will NO LONGER be accepting personal copies of Federal Income Tax Returns for verification purposes. If eligible, please utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA Application.
  6. Q: I used estimated income on my FAFSA because I had not filed my taxes before applying. I have now filed my taxes, what do I do now?

    A: You and your parents (if applicable) are able to use the FAFSA Corrections process once your 2015 tax returns are completed. During this process, you are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically transfer your correct tax information onto your application.
  7. Q: I filed my FAFSA online early and the IRS Data Retrieval was not available so I had to type in my tax information. Is this going to affect my application?

    A: The financial aid office at CCRI is strongly encouraging all applicants who filed before the IRS Data Retrieval process was available, to log back into their application through the FAFSA Corrections process and utilize the IRS Data Retrieval process. The IRS Data Retrieval process helps ensure a more accurate application and eliminates the need to request a tax transcript from the IRS if selected for verification.
  8. Q: My parents have divorced since last year. The FAFSA is requesting information from one of them. Which parent do I use?

    A: You will only have to provide information about the parent you lived with the most in the last year. If you lived with both parents for an equal amount of time in the last year, provide information from the parent who provided the most financial support to you.

    Also, if the parent who provided the most financial support to you in the last year has remarried, you will need to report that parents’ marital status as ‘married’ on the application and provide income and asset information for both your parent and step-parent.
  9. Q: How do I determine my household size on my application?

    A: If you are an independent student, your household size includes yourself, your spouse, and any children who receive more than half of their support from you. If you are dependent, include yourself, your parents, and your parent’s other children if they receive more than half of their support from your parents. Also, make sure you DO NOT include parents in the number of people in your parents’ household who will be college students.
  10. Q: How do I know what grade level I should choose?

    A: This is a very common error for financial aid applicants. The biggest error is for high school seniors to report their grade level as 5th year, when their college grade level should be reported as first year undergraduate. Another common error, is reporting a professional degree when the student is actually attempting a vocational program. “Professional” refers to a degree to practice medicine, dentistry or law.
  11. Q: What if there is no value to report for a question or the amount is negative?

    A: When there is no value to report, or the value is negative, please report a -0- (zero.) If you leave the response blank, you can delay your application because the processor will assume you overlooked the item.
  12. Q: I have lost my job since last year, and my taxes do not really reflect what I am earning on unemployment, is there anything financial aid can help me with?

    A: If you or your family have experienced any unusual circumstances (divorce, death of a parent, loss of employment, loss of income or benefits, homelessness, unusually high medical expenses, military service, natural disaster, etc.) please contact the financial aid office, as this may affect your need for financial aid. A financial aid officer may be able to use professional judgment to adjust your financial aid eligibility.
  13. Q: I completed my FAFSA, what now?

    A: After your FAFSA has been submitted online, you will receive a document called the Student Aid Report (SAR). (If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will receive an email with a link to your SAR within three to five days.) Your SAR will indicate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and tell you if you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. You must review your SAR to check for errors, or to see if the financial aid office needs any further information to process your application. If you are selected for verification or there is a question about your application, the financial aid office will request additional information. If you need to correct any information you have reported, you can make the corrections online .
  14. Q: How does the Financial Aid Office communicate with me?

    A: All communications from the Financial Aid Office are sent to students through their CCRI email. You are able to view your financial aid information by logging into your CCRI account and choosing the “for students” tab.

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Last Updated: 2/20/17