Below is information you will need to know about if you are interested in financial aid at Bristol.

Financial Aid Deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round; however, because of limited funding, students are urged to apply early. Priority is given to students who complete their financial aid file by May 1 for the start of the Fall Semester and November 1 for the start of the Spring Semester.  Since the FAFSA can take up to three weeks to process, you should submit this form no later than March 10 for the Fall Semester. On-time applicants have a better chance of receiving aid beyond the Pell Grant and/or loans. In addition, on-time applicants receive notification of award eligibility prior to the tuition due date and are considered for the book advance program. Late applicants, on the other hand, may be expected to pay their tuition and book charges on their own and be reimbursed at a later date, if eligible for financial aid. To meet the priority deadline, the FAFSA and all requested documents must be received in the Financial Aid Office by the above dates. For later applicants, the FAFSA results and all requested documents must be received in the Financial Aid Office by the end of the academic year or the last date of attendance, whichever comes first.

Re-apply for Financial Aid

Your eligibility for financial aid must be renewed each academic year. This is done by completing a new FAFSA each year. It may be helpful to remember that if it's tax filing time, it's also FAFSA filing time. At Bristol, the financial aid processing year is Fall, Spring, and the following Summer. This means that a financial aid file completed for the Fall Semester is valid for the following Summer Semester also. 

Tax Returns

Federal guidelines require that selected applicants verify their reported tax return information through the IRS. The Financial Aid Office cannot accept paper copies of your tax return.  For information on how to obtain IRS documentation, go to the page and scroll down to "Instructions for IRS Data Retrieval or Tax Transcript."  Keep processing times in mind when trying to meet financial aid deadlines.

Amended Tax Returns

If an amended tax return was completed, you will need to provide the following three documents to the Financial Aid Office:

  • the Tax Return transcript which reflects the original information submitted to the IRS
  • the IRS Form 1040X - submit a signed copy
  • the Tax Account transcript which confirms that the amended return was submitted to the IRS

Tax Return and Identity Theft Determined by the IRS

If the IRS has determined that you are a victim of identity theft, the IRS will not allow you to obtain tax information until the matter has been resolved.  If you are a victim of identity theft, you will be referred to the IRS' Identity Protection Specialized Unit. Their toll-free number is 800.908.4490. After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer's identity, the filer can request that the IRS mail an alternative paper copy transcript, called the TRDBV (transcript database view). The Bristol Financial Aid Office can accept this alternative transcript only in the case of confirmed IRS identity theft.

Dependent or Independent Applicant Status

Dependency status determines if parental information is required on the FAFSA. An independent applicant does not need to report their parent's information. To be considered independent, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Attained age 24 as defined on the FAFSA
  • Married
  • Provided more than one-half annual support to a dependent child
  • Provided more than one-half annual support to other legal dependent
  • Is a veteran of the U S. Armed Forces

All other applicants are considered to be dependent and parental information is required. There are certain additional circumstances in which an applicant may be considered independent based on the situation such as:

  • Unaccompanied youth status
  • Legal guardianship status
  • Homelessness
  • Legal emancipated minor status
  • Foster youth status
  • Ward of the state status 

More detail on these above exceptions is provided on the page, scroll down to "Unusual Circumstances Affecting Dependency Status." 

An exception may also be considered in extreme and documented cases such as estrangement or abuse. A Bristol Financial Aid Counselor can waive the parental information requirement through the Dependency Override Process. Information on this process is available on the page, scroll down to "Request to Change Dependency Status."

Finally, a dependent applicant who does not qualify for a Dependency Override but cannot obtain parental information should complete a Parent Refuse Form and will be considered for Unsubsidized Loans only. The form is available on the page, scroll down to "Parental Refuse Form."

Re-evaluation due to a Change

When you complete the FAFSA, you will be asked about your income from the prior year. If there has been a significant change in your family situation, or if your current income is less than the income reported on the FAFSA, or if your Adjusted Gross Income includes an IRA rollover, you may request a re-evaluation. You will need to submit supporting documentation. It may be possible to have your eligibility recalculated using the most current income information. You can find the Re-evaluation Form on the Forms page.