Conflicting Information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), CSS Profile, Tax Return(s) or W-2 Forms
Villanova University’s Office of Financial Assistance must resolve conflicting information before awarding or disbursing any financial assistance. Examples of conflicting information include but are not limited to the following:
- Parents indicate on the FAFSA, CSS Profile and/or on the Villanova University Application for Financial Assistance that they are married but file separate US or Puerto Rico Income Tax Returns with at least one parent filing as head of household.
- Interest and/or dividend income reported on the income tax return is not consistent with the amount of assets and/or dividends reported on the FAFSA.
- Individuals report on the FAFSA or CSS Profile that they are a non/tax filer but there is reason to believe that a tax return is required to be filed.
- Marital status not consistent with the CSS Profile, Villanova University Application for Financial Assistance, Federal tax return and/or the FAFSA.
Villanova University's Office of Financial Assistance reserves the right to utilize internet-based resources to verify information on forms submitted and to request Form 4506 for tax/income confirmation from the IRS if warranted during the file review.
A student's eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined through the following formula:
Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need
In order to determine a student's Cost of Attendance, the University considers your Direct Costs (charges that the student is billed) such as: tuition, fees, average housing and meals-if living on campus and Indirect Costs (expenses the student may incur but is not billed by the University) such as: books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined as a result of your completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile (Profile). These forms collect income and asset information from you and your parent(s)/stepparent. Other information that is important in determining your EFC household size, number of children in college, and age of your parents. Eligibility for federal and state aid is determined based on information from the FAFSA and eligibility for institutional need-based aid is determined from data provided on the CSS Profile.
After your "Financial Need" has been determined, the Office of Financial Assistance will attempt to meet as much of your need as possible using federal, state and institutional funding which can be awarded in the form of grants, loans and/or student employment.
Business and/or Farm Net Worth
For purposes of calculating Villanova Grant eligibility, the net worth of a business and/or farm will be considered regardless of the number of full-time or full-time equivalent employees.
Number in College
Siblings Enrolled in Graduate school, as a Part Time Student, Seeking a Second Baccalaureate Degree, or Enrolled at a community college or any of the Military Academies are not considered in determining the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for purposes of awarding the need-based Villanova University Grant. For the purposes of determining Villanova University Grant eligibility, only siblings enrolled in full time undergraduate programs will be counted towards number in college. For students who filed the CSS Profile, only family members under the age of 23 will be included, siblings that are 24 years of age or older are NOT included in the household size or number in college when determining eligibility for the Villanova Grant. **(Please note this age requirement does not apply to the parent(s) of the student).
Financial Aid Notice with Incomplete/Missing Documents
If a student receives a financial aid notice indicating that the financial aid file is incomplete, the offered aid is only an estimate and subject to change pending receipt of all missing documents. As such, the aid will not be deducted from the student’s tuition account until all documents have been received and reviewed.
Treatment of Outside Scholarships on Financial Assistance Packages
Villanova University Grant when combined with outside privately funded or non/need based gift aid, scholarships, tuition benefits, and tuition remission cannot exceed need. If need is exceeded, an adjustment is made to reduce self-help aid first (loans, Federal Work-Study) then grant funds.
Treatment of State Grants
Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance reserves the right to reduce the Villanova University Grant once the state grant award has been confirmed for the student.
Our office understands that some students (and their family) may have special circumstances that are not captured on the aid applications. Therefore we may be able to make adjustments based upon the special circumstances and supporting documentation. Per HEA Sec. 479A(a) IN GENERAL—"Nothing in this part shall be interpreted as limiting the authority of the financial aid administrator, on the basis of adequate documentation, to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to the cost of attendance or the values of the data items required to calculate the expected student or parent contribution (or both) to allow for treatment of an individual eligible applicant with special circumstances."
The Federal Student Handbook states: “In unusual cases, an aid administrator can determine that a student who doesn’t meet any of the independence criteria should still be treated as an independent student. The Higher Education Act allows an aid administrator to make dependency overrides on a case-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances.” The administrator must document the reason(s) for that decision in the student’s file.
Villanova University subscribes to the basic federal tenets regarding the awarding of financial aid which expect that the family (parents and student) primarily are responsible for meeting the cost of post-secondary education.
The policy of the University will be to consider requests to override a student’s dependent status on a case-by-case basis, in keeping with Federal regulations. In reviewing each case the office will consider the circumstances that exist and whether there are compelling reasons to certify the student as an independent student through the use of professional judgment. A parent’s unwillingness to provide financial support and/or information needed to determine a student’s eligibility is not justification to declare the student as independent.
Examples of circumstance that are considered “compelling” would include but are not limited to:
abusive home situation (physical as well as psychological)
substance abuse by parents
intolerable home environment
In addition to information being received from the student applicant, corroboration must be provided through a written statement provided by a reliable third-party (e.g. clergy, counselor, lawyer, etc.)
The decision to use professional judgment in order to override normal dependent status will be made only by administrative staff. The Director of Financial Assistance will be the person to whom students may appeal decisions made by other administrative staff who does not deem circumstances compelling or documentation insufficient. Overrides do not carry over from one year to the next; the Office of Financial Assistance must reaffirm each year that the unusual circumstances persist and that an override is still justified.
Reduced Income from Prior Tax Year
Request for Revision form must be submitted that explains the reason for the change in income (unemployment, death, disability,) along with supporting documentation, such as layoff or closure letter, final pay stub, etc.
Roth IRA rollovers will be excluded from the families Adjusted Gross Income if indicated on the CSS Profile or 1099-R that is submitted with the tax documents.
The Office of Financial Assistance may consider a reduction to Social Security Benefits and/or child support. Documentation is required which includes a signed statement from the parent(s) and student stating the month and year that the benefit will cease and the amount received until that date.
Special Circumstances not Considered
Villanova University does not consider private school tuition (elementary or secondary), non recurring income such as but not limited to overtime, moving expenses, work bonuses, gambling winnings as well as prior debt/bankruptcies/payments to educational loans.