1. If a student's parents are separated or divorced, why does Macalester require a CSS Profile from each parent?
  2. What is IDOC?
  3. What if I miss the filing date?
  4. Tax Return Questions
    1. My tax return has not yet been completed. May I file the FAFSA and/or PROFILE with estimated figures?
    2. I will not file a tax return. What should I do?
    3. I filed my tax return electronically. What form must I submit?
    4. I do not have a copy of my tax return. What should I do?
  5. How can I find out what is missing from my financial aid application?
  6. I filed my FAFSA, but Macalester does not have record of receiving the results. What should I do?
  7. I was not able to list Macalester as one of the schools on my FAFSA. How do I get the FAFSA results to Macalester?
  8. When will I receive financial aid application results?

1. If a student's parents are separated or divorced, why does Macalester require a CSS Profile from each parent?
Macalester’s financial aid philosophy is guided by the principle that a student’s biological parents are the individuals most responsible for the student’s educational costs. 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.

Do the same requirements apply to the FAFSA?
No. Students should only complete one FAFSA, even if the student’s biological/adoptive parents are separated or divorced. For the purposes of applying for Federal Student Aid, the parent that the student has lived with the most in the last twelve months should be included on the FAFSA. If the student did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent that provided the most financial support should be included on the FAFSA. 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 one of my parents is not able to complete the CSS Profile?
In some limited circumstances, it may not be possible to obtain a CSS PROFILE from both parents. If this is the case, you can request a waiver of this requirement. Waiver requests are only granted in certain situations which are specified on the form.

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

Prospective students: It is important to complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE 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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4.1. My tax return has not yet been completed. May I file the FAFSA and/or CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE with estimated figures?

Both the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE use financial information from two years prior to the academic year in which you are applying for aid. For instance, the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE for the 2017-18 academic year both use 2015 financial information. This means that most families will have completed their tax returns when filling out financial aid applications, even in the case of tax extensions.

In the rare case that your tax return from two years prior to the academic year has not yet been completed, please contact our office for guidance.

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4.2. 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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4.3. 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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4.4. 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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5. 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 financialaid@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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6. 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. 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 when next year's FAFSA first becomes available when Macalester has not yet received the necessary software updates to load FAFSA results. 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 October 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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7. 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 on adding school codes to your FAFSA.

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8. 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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