Submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step towards receiving financial aid for college. The U.S. Department of Education provides a mix of loans and grants to eligible students on the basis of financial need.

The application process for financial aid begins with the submission of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA will ask for income and asset data for both the student and the parents. This data determines the student's financial need and the Office of Financial Aid will award aid based on that information. On October 1, students may begin submitting the FAFSA for the next academic year. The FAFSA must be submitted before March 2 in order for students to be eligible for all types of aid. Students who submit a FAFSA after March 2 may have fewer options available for some types of aid.

Note: Dominican University does not accept the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE to determine aid eligibility.

Avoid scams! Students should never pay a fee to file a FAFSA or pay someone to submit a FAFSA on the student's behalf!


In order to login and submit a FAFSA, students must establish an FSA ID. The FSA ID will be used to access all Federal Student Aid websites. Parents of dependent undergraduate students must also create an FSA ID to sign the student's FAFSA or apply for Parent PLUS Loans. Students and parents must establish their FSA IDs online at: https://fsaid.ed.gov


  • Create an FSA ID
  • Submit the FAFSA at: www.fafsa.gov
  • List Dominican University of California as a recipient school using our school code: 001196
  • Complete the questions regarding the student's/parent's demographics and other information.
  • Using the Form 1040(s) from the appropriate tax year, enter the student/parent(s)' income tax data.
  • Sign and submit the FAFSA using the FSA ID. Note: FAFSAs for dependent students must be signed by both the student's and the parent's FSA IDs. FAFSAs for independent students may only be signed with the student's FSA ID.



Tax Information Reported in FAFSA

The FAFSA for a particular academic year requires tax information from two years prior to the start of the academic year. For example, for the 2019 - 2020 academic year FAFSA, students -and their parent(s), as appropriate- will report 2017 income and tax information. See the table below for a summary of key dates.

When the Student is Attending College (School Year) 

Starting Date When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA

Which Year’s Income and Tax Information is Required

Fall 2019 – Summer 2020

October 1, 2018





Fall 2020 – Summer 2021

October 1, 2019


Dependency Status and Reporting of Parent Information

Students and parents commonly ask whether the parents' income/tax information needs to be included on the FAFSA. The Federal Government classifies students as either dependent or independent students which determines if parent information is included. Dependent students must report their parents’ information whereas independent students do not report their parents' information. Dependency is determined by factors such as the student’s age (24 or older), if the student is married, has dependents of their own, and/or are active military/veterans. If the student does not meet any of those criteria, the government considers the student to be dependent. If the student meets any one of those criteria, the government considers the student to be independent. See the Federal Government's Dependency Flow Chart or the video below for more information:

Dependency status is NOT determined by whether or not the student lives with the parents, receives support from the parents, or whether the parents claim the student as a dependent on their taxes. If a student’s parents are unwilling to provide their information for FAFSA, the student may still submit the FAFSA; however, the student will have limited aid eligibility..

Parents should be aware that providing the student with their information on the FAFSA allows the student to be eligible for as many sources of financial aid as possible. It does not create an obligation for the parent to pay for the student’s education.

Note: If your parents are incarcerated, if you have left home due to an abusive family environment, if you do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted), or if you are older than 21, but not yet 24, are unaccompanied, and are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, you may be considered an independent student. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for further instructions.

For more information about the qualifications for dependency, please visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/filling-out/dependency

For more information on which parent(s) should be included on the FAFSA, please visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info