STCC Financial Aid - Helpful Hints for Completing the FAFSA

  • Need Help Completing Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA?. Schedule an appointment with a FAFSA expert:
    1. STCC Financial Aid Office
      Building 15, Room 205
      Call 413-755-4214
    2. UAspire
      Garvey Hall/2nd Floor
      (Springfield Residents Only)
      Call 413-755-4907
  • File early; the STCC priority deadline is May 1st. Please note that the later you apply, you put your FAFSA in jeopardy of limited resources that our office would have available.
  • The deadline for the Massachusetts State Grant is May 1st
  • Be accurate
  • Do not leave items blank
  • Sign the application; if you are dependent you must have at least one parental signature. An application without the appropriate signature(s) will not be processed
  • Keep copies of all documentation used to complete the FAFSA
  • Do not mail documentation with the application

Please note: Questions about your parents refer to your biological parents or stepparents. You will need your parent's social security numbers and dates of birth. If you live with a relative or legal guardian DO NOT include their information, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance in completing the FAFSA. If you do not live with your parents but answer NO to all the dependency status questions. You must report your parent's income. If unusual circumstances prohibit you from providing your parent's income, please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your situation.


  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA.  This tool transfers IRS tax return information and/or parent's tax information directly to your FAFSA.  It is the easiest way to provide your tax information and ensures that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.  For instructions on to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please click STCC Financial Aid - IRS Data Retrieval and Tax Transcripts.
  • Copies of 2015 tax transcript(s) and/or W-2 forms.
  • Total amount received of other untaxed income including: Child Support received for all children, workers' compensation, veteran's or military benefits such as Disability, Death Pension, or Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and/or VA Educational Work-Study allowances and any other monies received or paid on your behalf for the 2015 year.
  • The current market value of any investment (stocks, bonds, CD's, trust accounts, money markets, mutual funds, college savings plans, commodities, and other securities, property (business, farms, rental properties, and second or vacation homes). Do not include the home you live in if it is a single family home.
  • The average daily balance you keep in your checking and savings account. The 2015 amount paid in child support for child not residing with you.
  • In addition to the above income information you will also need:
    • Social Security number(s)
    • Alien registration number(s) (for non-U.S. citizens)
    • Date(s) of birth
    • Date(s) of most recent marriage, separation, divorce, or widow status.


  • Were you born before January 1, 1993?
  • As of today, are you married? (Answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced)
  • At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you between July1, 2016 and June 30, 2017?
  • When you were age 13 or older, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent/ward of the court?
  • Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did the director of an emergency shelter program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?