When to File Your FAFSA
To receive priority consideration for all aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed by January 3. You may still complete the FAFSA after this date, however some types of aid will be limited. Priority aid is limited and requires that you meet the January 3 priority date as well as complete your Financial Aid file by January 31. Priority aid includes certain types of grants, work study and certain loan funding. Regardless of the date the FAFSA is submitted students will always be considered for the Pell Grant (if eligible) and Federal Student Loans (if eligible).
Filing Your FAFSA Online
We encourage you to file your FAFSA online as it is the fastest and easiest way to file.
Steps to File Online
- Request a federal FSA ID, which is your signature. Students and parents will both need a federal FSA ID.
- Visit the FAFSA Website to enter your information. Remember to enter the University of New Mexico’s school code: 002663
- Use income records for the tax year prior to the academic year for which you are applying. For the 2020-21 FAFSA year you will use 2018 taxes.
- If you haven’t done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, it’s okay to estimate the amounts. You might want to base your estimates on last year’s tax return. If your income changed drastically since last year’s tax return, you may click on the “Income Estimator” on the FAFSA page requesting income information.
- If you have done your taxes before filling out your FAFSA, be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows your IRS Tax information to be transmitted to your FAFSA, eliminating mistakes related to income. You may be able to use the tool if you filed your taxes electronically at least two weeks ago or if you filed on paper at least eight weeks ago. An explanation of how the IRS DRT works is below.
- Authenticate your FAFSA by providing your FSAID for both student and Parent. Dependent students that fail to have a parent sign their FAFSA will result in an incomplete FAFSA. Only one parent is required to sign the FAFSA with an FSA ID.
How the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Works:
- Log in to your current FAFSA, or start a new FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.
- In the finances section of the FAFSA, you will see a "Link to IRS" button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
- Click the "Link to IRS" button and log in with the IRS to retrieve your tax return information.
- Review your tax return information, and see the tax data that will be transferred into your FAFSA.
- Check the "Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA" box, and click the "Transfer Now" button.
- Review your federal tax return information that has been transferred into the data fields on your FAFSA.
Paper FAFSA process for Non-Citizens
Complete the state aid application
1. Submit paper FAFSA to UNM Financial Aid by January 3
2. Answer "Yes" to Work Study if interested
Complete your File
3. Submit all unsatisfied requirements to UNM by January 31 to be eligible for priority funding
4. Incomplete files will not be awarded
5. Review State Financial Aid award(s)
6. If offered Work Study, you will need to accept the award to use it
7. The Lottery Scholarship does not require a FAFSA, if you are deemed eligible you will be awarded automatically
Correcting Your FAFSA
Review your SAR (Student Aid Report), which the federal government sends you a link to access within a week of completing your FAFSA. Correct any errors online. The federal government will forward any changes you make to the University. Parents of dependent students will need to re-sign if any of their information was changed.
Instructions for Correcting Your FAFSA:
- The easiest way to update tax information is to log onto the FAFSA website and make a correction using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is explained above.
- If making corrections to other sections of the FAFSA, please go directly to that section.
- Go to the financial section for parents and/or students.
- Select the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to link with the IRS website.
- You will have to provide identifying criteria.
- This tool will automatically input all pertinent data into the FAFSA, eliminating errors related to income.
- You will have to update your wage information manually as that is not part of the retrieval tool.
FAFSA Helpful Hints and Links
- UNM’s Priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is January 3, submitting after this date can exclude you from certain types of priority aid. You must also submit any required additional documentation by January 31 in order to be considered for priority aid.
- If your taxes have not been completed by the time you file your FAFSA, estimate the figures for your FAFSA or use last year’s tax return to complete the FAFSA.
- Do not include decimals in the information you provide. If your wages are $45,503.56, enter $45,504.It is important that your name is entered exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. If information is not correct, it could create a delay in getting your financial aid.
- Be sure the FAFSA is signed by you (and a parent if including parental information) before submitting. You will both need a federal FSA ID that will act as an electronic signature.
- UNM has FREE FAFSA workshops beginning in October or November and lasting into December to assist students in completing their FAFSA’s before the January 3 priority date.