U.S. Students Applying for Financial Aid

Your Toolbox

Financial Aid Office
651-696-6214
800-231-7974
651-696-6866 (fax )

Mailing Address
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN
55105 USA

The Admissions and Financial Aid Offices are located at 62 Macalester Street.

  1. When/why does Macalester required a Noncustodial PROFILE? What is the definition of "noncustodial parent"? What should I do if my noncustodial parent is not able to complete the PROFILE?
  2. What is IDOC?
  3. What is an IDOC cover sheet and when will I receive one?
  4. How can I obtain a replacement IDOC cover sheet?
  5. Why are Macalester's filing dates so early?
  6. What if I miss the filing date?
  7. Tax Return Questions
    1. My tax return has not yet been completed. May I file the FAFSA and/or PROFILE with estimated figures?
    2. My tax return has not yet been completed. Do you want the previous year's tax return?
    3. My tax return has not yet been completed. Do you want an estimated tax return?
    4. Must I wait until I send my tax return to the IRS before I send it to Macalester?
    5. I will not file a tax return. What should I do?
    6. I filed my tax return electronically. What form must I submit?
    7. I do not have a copy of my tax return. What should I do?
  8. How can I find out what is missing from my financial aid application?
  9. I filed my FAFSA, but Macalester does not have record of receiving the results. What should I do?
  10. I was not able to list Macalester as one of the schools on my FAFSA. How do I get the FAFSA results to Macalester?
  11. When will I receive financial aid application results?

1. When/why does Macalester require a Noncustodial PROFILE?
For the purposes of determining eligibility for need-based financial aid from Macalester, a Noncustodial PROFILE is required in cases where the applicant's biological/adoptive parents are separated or divorced. Each parent's ability to pay for college expenses is evaluated in determining eligibility for need-based financial aid from Macalester.

When applicable, applicants receive Noncustodial PROFILE instructions in response to the filing of the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

What is the definition of "noncustodial parent"?
For the purposes of applying for Federal Student Aid, the parent that the student has lived with the most in the last twelve months is the custodial parent. If parents are not currently married, the other parent is the "noncustodial parent". It does not matter who claimed the student as a dependent on a tax return, nor does it matter what is stated in a divorce agreement.

What should I do if my noncustodial parent is not able to complete the PROFILE?
In some limited circumstances, it may not be possible to obtain a Noncustodial PROFILE. If this is the case, contact the Financial Aid Office and we will provide instructions for requesting a waiver of this requirement. You'll be expected to provide a written explanation of why the Noncustodial PROFILE cannot be completed and provide documentation.

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2. What is IDOC?
IDOC is short for the College Board's Institutional Documentation Service. Macalester uses IDOC to collect the tax returns of Regular Decision and Transfer financial aid applicants. Applicants are asked to submit tax and other documents through IDOC rather than sending them to Macalester. Tax documents are scanned by the IDOC service and made available to Macalester. IDOC speeds delivery and analysis of tax return information and, if more than one of an applicant's schools uses IDOC, simplifies the financial aid application process.

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3. What is an IDOC cover sheet and when will I receive one?

An IDOC cover sheet must be included when you send your tax returns and other documents to the IDOC service. The IDOC cover sheet provides identity information to IDOC and ensures that your documents will be delivered to Macalester and associated with your financial aid application. IDOC cover sheets are sent by post and/or by e-mail beginning in early February.

You must file a CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE to receive an IDOC cover sheet.

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4. How can I obtain a replacement IDOC cover sheet?

If you need a duplicate IDOC cover sheet, visit idoc.collegeboard.com.

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5. Why is Macalester's aid application filing date so early?

Filing dates for prospective students applying under the regular decision plan are set in early February. We understand that it is often difficult to meet these dates because tax documents are often unavailable until late January (or later, in some cases). Our filing date is set so that we can receive and analyze the financial aid applications of several thousand applicants and deliver financial aid application results at the same time that admission decisions are delivered (usually in late March).

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6. What if I miss the financial aid application priority filing date?

Prospective students: It is important to complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (use estimated income information, if necessary) by the filing date. If you have missed the filing date, file the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (and Noncustodial PROFILE, if applicable) as soon as you possibly can. You should also file your other application materials as soon as possible but the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is the most critical.

A short delay of a few days after the filing date will not have an impact on your eligibility for financial aid. There does come a point when a tardy financial aid application can impact financial aid eligibility. Macalester's policy is to provide a financial aid package that meets the full demonstrated need of admitted students who file financial aid applications by the priority filing date. Filing your financial aid application as soon as possible after the priority filing date will maximize our ability to construct the best financial aid package.

Returning Macalester students: The timing of your financial aid application will not affect your financial aid eligibility. However, it is important to complete your financial aid application in a timely manner so that your financial aid can be in place when fall semester billing statements are prepared (mid-July). Students who meet the priority filing date can expect to receive a financial aid eligibility notification in early June.

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7.1. My tax return has not yet been completed. May I file the FAFSA and/or CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE with estimated figures?

Yes, please file the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (and also the FAFSA) with estimated income figures no later than the filing date. Both the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the FAFSA include a question where you can indicate that you are using estimates.

Macalester will update your PROFILE and FAFSA using your actual tax documents prior to calculating your family's financial aid eligibility. If your FAFSA information is being released to other schools, it may be important for you to update your FAFSA information yourself after you have a final tax return.

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7.2. My tax return has not yet been completed. Do you want the previous year's tax return?

Not unless you are applying for admission under one of the Early Decision plans. If your tax return will not be prepared until after March 15, contact our office for guidance.

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7.3. My tax return has not yet been completed. Do you want an estimated tax return?

No. We cannot use an estimated tax return for financial aid purposes.

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7.4. Must I wait until I send my tax return to the IRS before I send it to Macalester?

No. As long as your tax return is in its final form, it can be used for financial aid application purposes.

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7.5. I will not file a tax return. What should I do?

Parents or students who are not required to and will not file a tax return should complete a non-filer statement located on the IDOC cover sheet. Early decision applicants may visit our forms page to download the non-filer statement.

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7.6. I filed my tax return electronically. What form must I submit?

If you used tax preparation software (like TurboTax® or TaxCut®), use the software to print out form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, as applicable. Sign the document and send it to us. Forms 8453 and other summaries of electronic filing are not acceptable for financial aid purposes.

If you cannot obtain form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, call (800) 908-9946 to request a tax transcript from the IRS.

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7.7. I do not have a copy of my tax return. What should I do?

You can call (800) 908-9946 to request a tax return transcript from the IRS. There is no charge for a tax return transcript.

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8. How can I find out what is missing?

Prospective students should log onto Check Application and Financial Aid Status using the ID and password previously provided to you. Financial aid application status is shown at the bottom of the page. You may also send an e-mail inquiry to finaid@macalester.edu or phone 651-696-6214.

Returning applicants should log in to 1600grand.macalester.edu and click the Student Life tab.

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9. I filed my FAFSA, but Macalester does not have record of receiving the results. What should I do?

First, check to see that Macalester was listed as one of the schools you sent your results to. You should review your Student Aid Report (SAR) to see which schools were listed on your FAFSA. You may access your SAR on the FAFSA web site or call 800-4FED-AID to inquire about which schools have received your FAFSA results.

If Macalester is not listed as a school on your SAR, you should submit a revised FAFSA and list Macalester's code (002358) in the school section (click here for more information). You may revise your FAFSA online or call the Federal Student Aid at 800-4FED-AID for assistance.

If Macalester is listed in the school section of your SAR:

  1. There is a period of time from January 1 to around January 15 when Macalester does not have software necessary to load FAFSA results (our software vendor usually delivers the necessary updates in mid-January). If your SAR does list Macalester in the school section, we will eventually be able to receive and load your FAFSA results. If necessary, you may replace Macalester with another school's code. If Macalester is listed on the SAR, replacing Macalester's code with another school's code will not prevent Macalester from loading your FAFSA results.
  2. After January 15, please contact our office if Macalester is listed on your SAR but you have received notice from Macalester that your FAFSA results are missing. We will help troubleshoot and locate your FAFSA results.

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10. I was not able to include Macalester as one of the schools on my FAFSA. How do I get the FAFSA results to Macalester?

Click here for instructions.

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11. When will I receive financial aid application results?

Admitted students will usually receive financial aid application results within a few days of receiving their admission letter. If the aid application is not complete at the time of admission, financial aid results will be mailed within approximately one week after the date that the aid application is completed.

The first batch of returning student aid application responses will be sent in early June. If you complete your financial aid application by the priority filing date, our response will be delivered in early June.

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