Processing Your Aid

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.

The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.

Note About EFC:

Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.

Applicants Selected for Verification

Your application for Federal student aid may be selected for a process called verification. This means that our office must verify the accuracy of the information that you submitted on the FAFSA. Each year approximately 30% of student applicants nationwide are randomly selected by the Federal Central Processing System for verification. You may also be selected by the University. If selected, you must submit a verification worksheet, federal tax transcripts, and/or other supporting documents. Until your information has been verified, a financial aid award cannot be issued to you.

You will be notified by e-mail for any outstanding documents we need to process your application. You can also view the outstanding requirements by accessing your online Student Aid Report (comments section) at www.fafsa.ed.gov . Failure to submit the verification documents will result in your financial aid file being closed. If any of the data reported on the FAFSA is found to be incorrect, your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated.

Upon completion of all verification requirements, a financial aid award letter will be e-mailed to you. You must accept or decline your financial aid award on MyUH Portal (https://myuh.hawaii.edu ) within 30 days or your awards will be cancelled.

IRS Data Retrieval/Tax Transcript

Video on How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval

Beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, financial aid offices will no longer be able to accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA Verification purposes. Instead, the tax information must come directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through either the IRS Data Retrieval Process or by requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you have amended taxes, an IRS Tax Account Transcript will be needed in addition to the Tax Return Transcript.


To participate in the IRS Data Retrieval Process, FAFSA applicants will be presented with questions about their respective tax returns. Please read these new FAFSA questions carefully and follow the instructions carefully. In short, the tax filer must answer questions to open up the IRS web application within the FAFSA on the web. Then, with certain identifying information, which the applicant provides, the IRS data can be retrieved and transferred directly into the FAFSA on the web application. Do NOT make changes to the IRS information once it is retrieved. If you do, the data retrieval will be invalid. 


If you only recently filed your taxes or are in the process of submitting your tax return, the applicant can go back into FAFSA on the web, make a correction, complete the IRS data retrieval process, and resubmit the FAFSA once the information is available at the IRS.

  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed;
  • Paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.

Unfortunately, some applicants who are tax filers cannot use the IRS data retrieval process. Those applicants are:

  • filing status is married filing separately
  • marital status change after December 31, 2012
  • foreign tax returns
  • filed an amended tax return
  • when a paper FAFSA is completed

If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must request an IRS Tax Return Transcript to verify your income by one of the following options:

There is no charge for requesting a Tax Return Transcript.  Please allow five to ten days for delivery if you order online or by phone.
Once you receive the transcript from the IRS, please provide a signed copy to our office.  You may fax, email, or mail the transcript to Financial Aid Services.

Mail:
Financial Aid Services
2600 Campus Road QLCSS 112
Honolulu, HI  96822
Fax:  808-956-3985
Email: finaid@hawaii.edu