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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 the marital status changes after the student has signed their application, they generally may not 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. Most students will benefit by waiting until they are married before completing the FAFSA. This is not always the case. The EFC calculator at FAFSA4caster will assist you in comparison of before or after marriage calculations.

Meet with Financial Aid advisor

The staff of the Financial Aid Office at ISU strongly encourages any student in this situation to meet with an ISU Financial Aid Office advisor to review their options.

If you (and your spouse) choose to wait to apply until after your marriage you will have to combine your income information (AGI, taxes paid) when the original FAFSA is completed.

For further assistance, call the Financial Aid Office (208 282-2756) to make an appointment with an advisor to review your specific situation.

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.

Instructions for Requesting a Change in Marital Status After Initial Filing of FAFSA

A student’s marital status for an academic year is established on the date that the FAFSA application was initially completed. This could mean a married student could be considered a dependent rather than independent for the academic year if the FAFSA application was initially completed prior to a marriage. Federal Student Aid allows an institution to use its professional judgement to change this status in specific situations. At Idaho State University, there are two specific instances: to resolve a federal financial aid inequity in the household between the student and his/her spouse or to consider a significant change in the student’s household financial situation due to a marriage.

To request a review, a student must schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor. The counselor will discuss the circumstance with the student and provide the petition to the student. The student will then complete the form and submit it with the required documentation to start the review process. A petition will not be considered without documentation. Once federal financial aid has been disbursed to a student as a dependent student, the student will remain a dependent student for the academic year.

Resolve Federal Financial Aid Inequity Between Student and Spouse: A federal financial aid inequity may exist between a student and his/her spouse when one is considered dependent due to completing the FAFSA prior to marriage and the other is considered independent due to completing the FAFSA after the marriage. A student in this situation may request a change and must provide appropriate supporting documentation. An individual financial aid counselor may use their professional judgement to make this change.

Significant Change in the Household Financial Situation: A marriage between a student and spouse may cause a significant change in the student’s household financial situation. A student in this circumstance may request a review by submitting a signed statement and appropriate documentation. The request will be reviewed by two financial aid counselors who will make a recommendation. The financial aid director (or associate director if the director is unavailable) will then review the statement, documentation, counselor recommendations, and render a final decision. The student will be informed of the outcome of his/her request. If approved, appropriate changes will be made to the student’s FAFSA for the academic year through professional judgement. If not approved, no changes will be made. The decision will be final and cannot be appealed.