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News and Updates
Important Financial Aid Changes for the 2013 - 2014 Academic Year

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Notice

The U.S. Department of Education recently established new regulations which reduce the duration of a student’s lifetime eligibility to receive Pell Grant from 18 full-time semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 full-time semesters (or its equivalent). This provision applies to all Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-13 year.

What does this mean to you?

An eligible student can receive the Federal Pell Grant until the earliest of a bachelors degree or until the student has received the Federal Pell Grant for an equivalent of 12 full-time semesters. This limitation includes the percentage of Federal Pell Grant the student has received from all post-secondary institutions regardless of when the student began receiving aid. Since receipt of a full Federal Pell Grant annual award is equivalent to 100% (based on two (50%) full-time semesters per award year), 12 full-time semesters equates to 600%.

The following is applicable to Collin College:

  • Each full-time semester (12 or more credits) that the student receives the Federal Pell
    Grant represents 50% of an annual award.

  • Each three-quarter semester (9 to 11 credits) that the student receives the Federal Pell Grant represents 37.5 % of an annual award.

  • Each half-time semester (6 to 8 credits) that the student receives the Federal Pell Grant represents 25% of an annual award.

  • Each part-time semester (1 to 5 credits) that the student receives the Federal Pell Grant represents 12.5% of an annual award.

For additional information about the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility limits as well as examples, visit the Dept of Education's website here.

Tracking Your Lifetime Eligibility Used on NSLDS


You can find your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) for the Federal Pell Grant by going to the web site www.nslds.ed.govand creating a student account. The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

      Step 1: Obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the U.S. Department of Education at have the PIN that was used when you applied for your FAFSA. This PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records with the U.S. Department of Education systems.

      Step 2: Access NSLDS by going to On the NSLDS screen, click on Financial Aid Review.

      Step 3: Read the privacy statement on this screen. If you agree, click Accept to find your Lifetime Eligibility Used. A security configuration question may or may not prompt, depending on your browser’s current security configuration If you are comfortable with your browser’s currently security configuration, click Accept to continue. The Confirming Your Identity screen will appear after you click Accept.


      Step 4: Enter your Social Security number (SSN), the first two letters of your last name, your date of birth, and your PIN to confirm your identity. Keep your PIN safe andsecure.

      Step 5: View the Financial Aid Review screen listing your total Lifetime EligibilityUsed.If this amount equals 600% or more, you have no remaining eligibility for Pell Grant.

      Step 6: Be sure to LOGOFF when your review is complete.

Ability to Benefit

Students who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (GED), or do not meet the home school requirements, and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aid.

New Verification Requirements

The U.S. Department of Education instituted some changes to the verification process beginning with the 2012-13 award year. According to the U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter GEN 11-03:

Since most applicants can quickly and easily access IRS data through the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process, we no longer consider it reasonable for an institution to accept anything less reliable than IRS-supplied evidence for verification of income data. Therefore, if an applicant selected for verification, who has not successfully transferred information from the IRS, or one who did transfer the information but then changed it, the Department expects the institution to require the applicant, and if necessary the applicant’s parents, to provide an official IRS transcript of their Federal income tax information.

What This Means

Students and parents can no longer submit a signed copy of their Federal tax returns as a means of confirming the income reported on the FAFSA. When completing the income sections of the FAFSA, the applicant is given the option to have this data retrieved directly from the IRS.

If applicants decide not to use the IRS data retrieval process and the application is selected for verification, the applicant and the parents will be required to submit an IRS Tax Transcript. If the IRS tax retrieved information is changed on the FAFSA, the applicant will be required to submit an IRS Tax Transcript.

However, the IRS data can be retrieved by the applicant when a correction is made to the

FAFSA. If the retrieved data is not changed, then an IRS Tax Transcript will not be required.

For the current year, the IRS Data Retrieval process began on February 3, 2014. In order to determine if the applicant is eligible to use the retrieval process, the applicant must have a 2013 tax return on file with the IRS at the time of FAFSA completion.

Tax Filers with Special Circumstances

The IRS Tax Retrieval may not be available for the applicant in the following circumstances:

      A joint tax return was filed for 2013 and the student or the student’s parents have filed the FAFSA with a marital status of separated, divorced, or widowed.

        If the tax filer is married to someone other than the individual included on the 2013 joint tax return.

        If the parent or student was not married in 2013 but is married at the time the FAFSA is filed. The current spouse’s income must be reported on the FAFSA.

        If the parents or the student is married but filed tax returns separately.

        If an amended tax return was filed.

Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript

This can be done free of charge from the IRS one of four ways.
Online Request
				There are two ways to order from the IRS website:
        NEW!!!! Use the IRS's new tool to obtain your Tax Return Transcript on the spot!  The new tool, called "Get Transcript" allows tax filers to obtain a pdf copy of their transcripts.   Go to and follow the instructions.Or, if you prefer

        Have a copy of your Tax Return Transcript mailed to your address on file with the IRS (the address you used on the last tax return).

If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS tax return transcript  within 5 to 10 days from the time the online request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.

Telephone Request

        Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946.

Select “Option 2” to request an IRS tax return transcript.

If successfully validated, tax filer can expect to receive a paper IRS tax return transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.

Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ

        Use IRS Form 4506T-EZ to request a Tax Return Transcript.

      Download at

Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.

      Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request. NOTE: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.

For a more detailed explanation of how to request an IRS Tax Transcript, click here.

Nontax Filers Selected for Verification

For an individual that has not filed and, under IRS rules is not required to file an income tax

return, a copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received in tax year 2013 must be provided.

Qualifying Income for Automatic Zero EFC

Qualifying income for the Automatic Zero EFC determination is $24,000 for the year 2014-15 (the same as it was for 2013-14). Auto-zero applies only to EFC calculations for dependent students (based on parent income) and independent students with dependents other than a spouse (based on the combined income of the student and spouse).