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Common FAFSA Errors

Get the FAFSA Right, from the Get-go.

Don't miss out on financial aid! Making an error can affect your eligibility for need-based aid. The errors can also delay the processing of your FAFSA at DU. 

If the federal government finds any application errors (including incomplete or missing information), you will be notified in writing. You must respond quickly to each request. Awards cannot be made until all information is complete and accurate. When in doubt, call us right away. We can help.


Social Security Numbers

The federal government checks all social security numbers you enter on the FAFSA. Double-check the numbers! Click on this link to find out how resolve any social security number issues.

Divorced/Remarried Parental Info

If you have divorced parents, you should be including information for the parent that you live with the majority (more than 50%) of the time. If that parent is remarried you should also be including stepparent information. Check the FAFSA help section for more information about who is considered to be a "parent" for purposes of completing the FAFSA.

Income Earned by Parents/Stepparent

Be sure to use the actual adjusted gross income (AGI) from your tax form. Generally AGI is different from the total of income earned from work.

U.S. Income Taxes Paid

A common error is to input the amount of tax withheld for the year and not the amount of taxes you were held liable for. The FAFSA form will direct you to the specific line number on your Federal 1040 tax form. As a general reminder: the taxes paid are not the amount of your refund and are usually found on your tax form within a few lines of calculating your AGI minus deductions and exemptions.

Household Size

Should be listed as everyone living in the household and is supported by yourself or your parent(s). This number can be different than the exemptions claimed on the tax return.

Number of Household Members in College

For dependent students do not include your parent(s) in this total. See FAFSA for more details.

Real Estate and Investment Net Worth

Do not include the value of the house in which you live. See FAFSA for detailed information on what should/shouldn’t be included in investment net worth.


Saving FAFSA data on the web does not mean that you have submitted the form. You must submit by signing your FAFSA with a PIN or printing and sending in the signature page. Dependent students need sign along with one parent. It’s also important to note that if you need to make a correction to an already processed FAFSA, you and, if required, your parent must resign the FAFSA.

“As of Today” Questions

These questions must be answered with data as of the date that you are submitting the FAFSA and cannot be updated once the FAFSA has been submitted for the year.

E-mail Address

Be certain to provide an accurate, up-to-date e-mail address on your FAFSA application. The Department of Education will be using e-mail to notify you of the results of your FAFSA application.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Once your application is accepted and processed by the FAFSA processor, you will receive an acknowledgement.

Tax Returns

In order to ensure the accuracy of your application information, you may be required to forward a signed copy of your, and/or your parents' complete 2010 federal tax return(s) to the Davenport Financial Aid Office.  A prompt response to this request will enable us to more quickly process your application. Awards will only be made when all required information is received, reviewed and found to be correct and accurate. This includes eligibility for all federal loan programs.

Did Not File Taxes

The IRS publishes income thresholds so that you may determine if you must file a tax return. If you are not sure if you are required to file a tax return, please review the 2011 Federal Income Tax Return Filing Requirements.