MEMO TO: U.S. citizens or permanent residents who may be appointed as Graduate Assistants or
Teaching Assistants for 2008/2009
FROM: Mary MacLean, Graduate Assistant Coordinator
The Graduate School
RE: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 2008/2009
Why do I have to submit the FAFSA?
The Graduate School requires that you submit the FAFSA for 2008/2009 in order to determine the funding
source for your stipend. While your GA/TA appointment is merit based, The Graduate School has two
sources of funding, one of which is needs-based (Federal Work Study). You will not be placed on the payroll
nor will your tuition be paid until The Graduate School has received your Student Aid Report (SAR) data.
Also, the FAFSA is required if you wish to apply for federal student loans.
When should I file the FAFSA FAFSA?
If you have not already filed the 2008/2009 FAFSA, you should do so immediately. You must file the
FAFSA even if you applied for an extension from the IRS for your 2007 Federal tax return. Following an
analysis of your FAFSA data, a determination will be made as to the funding source for your stipend. Please
complete your FAFSA so that you will be paid on time!
How do I file a FAFSA?
• You may file the FAFSA on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
• Be sure that you complete Worksheet C and include all earnings/grants which you (and your spouse)
received and reported to the IRS for any financial aid (teaching/research/graduate assistantships
and/or any portion of your/spouse’s fellowship(s) received during period January 1, 2007- December
31, 2007 and which were reported to the IRS).
• Your application cannot be processed by FAFSA without a signature. FAFSA has simplified the
signature process so that if you do not have a PIN, you should apply for your PIN within the FAFSA
application, as it will speed up your application process. It takes 1-3 days to get a PIN electronically
as opposed to the 7-10 days it would take a signature page to be received and processed through the
• Can I submit a FAFSA with pre-filled data from last year using FAFSA on the Web?
Yes, but you will need your PIN to access the pre-filled FAFSA data. Update all changes and please
make certain that Northwestern University’s code 001739 is listed in the School Section.
• Status of FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA. Please check your application status 1 week after submission if
you used a PIN to sign your application or 2-3 weeks after submission if you printed, signed and
mailed the signature page to the FAFSA processor. You can check the status at www.fafsa.ed.gov;
go to FAFSA Follow-up section and select the Check status of a submitted FAFSA option.
If FAFSA has your current e-mail on file, you will be sent an e-mail notification if your application was
processed successfully and you will be provided with instructions on how to access your electronic SAR
(including how to print a copy). You will be mailed a copy of your SAR if FAFSA does not have your email
• Check the electronic or paper SAR for accuracy, making certain that Northwestern University’s school
code (001739) is listed. Review comments and submit corrections on the web or on Part 2 of your paper
SAR (mail to your processor). Follow instructions on your SAR if you have been selected for
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verification. If your SAR is valid, an expected family contribution (EFC) will be calculated. If your SAR
is rejected, there will be no EFC calculated and it will be necessary for you to read and follow the
instructions provided. If you neglected to complete signature certification (if required), you will need to
submit your signature. This will take additional time for processing.
• The Graduate School should receive your data electronically if the code 001739 is listed. It is your
responsibility to confirm that your electronic SAR data has been received by The Graduate School. If
you filed a FAFSA for 2007/2008 and/or if you have been nominated as a graduate assistant for
2008/2009, you should have a message on CAESAR as a “to do” item if The Graduate School has not
received your FAFSA data; also, you may have additional item(s) if signature certification or verification
is required. If you are selected for verification, follow instructions and mail required document(s) to me.
You will not be placed on the payroll until I have received your valid SAR (with EFC) and any required
verification documents. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you receive
confirmation that FAFSA has processed your application so that I can confirm that NU has received
your data and that your program/department has submitted your GA appointment .
The Graduate School
633 Clark, Crown 1-502
Evanston, IL 60208
Attn: Mary MacLean
(847) 491-8540/FAX (847) 491-5070; email: email@example.com
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