Getting Married? Should you file FAFSA before or after?
Students are required to provide their marital status as of the date the application is signed. When a student's marital status changes, his/her dependency status remains unchanged for the rest of that award year, if they have completed their FAFSA prior to marriage. If the marital status changes after the student has signed their application, they cannot change this information for that award year.
Before you submit your FAFSA, a student needs to consider how filing single or married will impact her/his financial aid eligibility. Some students may benefit by waiting until they are married before applying for federal financial aid. This is not always the case. The EFC calculator at FAFSA4caster will assist you in comparison of before or after marriage calculations.
Facts to consider - Early and Single vs After Marriage
Early and Single
- If you are a dependent student,
you will complete the FAFSA using your income and your parents income.
- If you qualify as an independent student for other than marital status, you only use your income information.
- The earlier you apply, the better chance your Financial Aid award is ready when fees are due and you are in need of books.
- If your award is ready you will avoid late fees
- If you apply by the Priority Processing deadline of March 1st, you may qualify for other aid.
After Marriage - Can NOT Change Marriage Status After Filing FAFSA!
- Students will be considered independent for financial aid purposes.
- Your financial aid eligibility will be determined on the income of you and your spouse (even though you filed taxed separately).
- As an independent student, you can access additional Direct Student Loans.
- The longer you wait to apply for aid, the higher the chance that your aid will not be ready before fall semester. You can still receive it after the semester begins.
Note: Divorce - Students who have divorced since they completed the annual FAFSA and have been awarded may complete a Special Circumstance Form to have their financial aid reviewed.
For further assistance, call the Financial Aid Office to make an appointment with an advisor to review your specific situation.