Recently Married?

The Department of Education clearly defines which students attending school are dependent vs. independent. Typically, students who are independent qualify for better aid options because they are not required to list their parent’s income information on the FAFSA. When a dependent student becomes married, BYU-Idaho does allow the student to petition to change their marital status which ultimately changes a student from dependent to independent and may help the student receive a better federal award package. To determine if a student qualifies to change their marital status follow the directions below.

  • No student is required to update their marital status after submitting the FAFSA.
  • Students who choose to update their martial status after the priority deadlines are responsible
    for any late fees or service charges incurred during that time.
  • Information students should have ready to submit when changing their marital status
     *Student and spouse W-2s
     *Student and spouse IRS Tax Return Transcripts or Verification of IRS Tax Non-filing
     *Any document needed if student/spouse filed a foreign return or had foreign income
     *Student and/spouse IRS 1040 tax form, Schedule E and K-1 if owned business in 2016

*All documentation must be for the appropriate tax year as required by each FAFSA

1.   Any student who has already submitted a 2018/2019 FAFSA should do the following:

a.   Student should check their Student Aid Report on the fafa.ed website to determine their
EFC. If it is already 0, the student is already receiving the maximum amount of Pell and is
not eligible to change their marital status.
b.   If the student’s EFC is greater than 0, use the FAFSA4Caster to determine if changing
their marital status is actually in their best interest. If the FAFSA4Caster predicts the
student will receive a better award package than he/she currently has, the student
should make the marital status change. Otherwise, the student should take no action.

2.   If the student determines he/she should change their FAFSA, the student must

a.   Log into the originally submitted FAFSA using their FSA ID.
b.   Choose “make a correction.”
c.   Select the “Student Demographics” tab and change the response from “I am single” to “I
am married” and enter the month the student was married.
i.   An error prompt will show asking if the student was married prior to the original
date the FAFSA was completed. Student will need to answer “yes” to this
question to be able to move forward with the marital status update.
d.  Select the “Dependency Status” tab and change the answer for the question that asks,
“On the day you submitted your FAFSA, were you married?” to “Yes.”
e.   Change the household size and number in college to appropriately account for student
and spouse.
f.   Select the “Financial Information” tab and update the income information to reflect a
combined income (student’s income + the spouse’s income for the appropriate tax
year).
g.   Use the name and Social Security Number found on the student’s current social security
card. Unless students have changed their maiden name to their married name through
the Social Security Administration more than 8 weeks ago, DO NOT USE THE MARRIED
NAME ON THE FAFSA. Doing so WILL prevent the student from receiving their financial
aid.
h.   Sign and submit the FAFSA.

3.   Once the student has updated their FAFSA, it will take approximately 1.5 weeks for BYU-Idaho to
receive the corrections and show on the student portal.
4.   Students will be required to submit additional documents before BYU-Idaho can finish
processing the marital status update. First a student income verification worksheet will be
added to the student’s account. Once the income verification worksheet has been returned to
the school, additional tax documents will be requested based upon the answers from the
income verification worksheet. Students must check the financial aid student portal often and
submit any documents requested, or any current and future federal financial aid awards will be
cancelled, and the student may have to repay aid previously received.
5.   Once all documents have been correctly submitted and processed students will see their
financial aid awards update within 8 weeks.