Financial Aid Application Documents: Undergraduate Students
Financial Aid Application Documents: Overview
Below we have provided detailed descriptions of documents required for undergraduate student financial aid applications. You should refer to the specific application instructions and due dates for Prospective Undergraduate Students or Current and Returning Undergraduates to determine which documents you need to submit. Please keep a copy of all submitted documents for your own records. You will be notified by the College Board via email about submitting additional forms to IDOC after filing the CSS Profile. We do not accept documents via email.
Please note: If you apply to Tufts not needing financial aid, you will not be eligible for institutional aid in future years. An exception may be made if your family experiences an unanticipated change in financial circumstances. In these cases limited funds may be available.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
2024-2025 FAFSA Changes
The U.S. Department of Education is rolling out significant changes in the 2024-2025 FAFSA. They have announced that instead of the typical October 1 release, the FAFSA will available January 1, 2024 (or possibly sooner, in December 2023). You can visit the Launch of the 2024–25 FAFSA Form page on the Federal Student Aid website for updates and details. A list of key changes to the FAFSA can be found below.
- Parents, guardians, and/or a student's spouse will now be referred to as Contributors
- The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) calculated after completion of the FAFSA has been replaced by the SAI (Student Aid Index)
- The SAR (Student Aid Report) generated after completion of the FAFSA has been replaced by the FAFSA Submission Summary
A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Contributors without a social security number can still create an FSA ID at the Create Account page on the Federal Student Aid website.
Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete, and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-2025, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS.
In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine federal aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.
This online form is provided by the College Board and helps Tufts determine your eligibility for institutional funding, such as grants and loans. You will need to pay a fee to file the CSS Profile unless you qualify for a fee waiver. Fee waivers are determined by the College Board, not Tufts. For first-time applicants both the custodial and noncustodial parent are required to submit a CSS Profile.
CSS Profile Customer Service: firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-202-0524
Tufts CSS Profile code: 3901
Tax Returns and W-2s
Your aid application cannot be reviewed without a complete copy of your and your parents' federal income taxes including all schedules, W-2s, and 1099s. All undergraduates, except for REAL students, will submit taxes via IDOC after submitting the CSS Profile. REAL students will submit taxes directly to Tufts through SIS. Emailed forms and taxes will not be accepted.
You and your parents will also need to submit any federal business/corporate/partnership tax returns along with the federal income tax returns. Aid awards will be tentative until Tufts has received and reviewed all requested tax documents.
If your parents filed a foreign federal tax return, please submit a copy of their foreign tax return to IDOC. The documentation must be translated into English and converted to U.S. dollars.
If you or your parents did not file a tax return, please submit a Nontax Filer Statement located via IDOC or on our website under Student Financial Aid Forms.
If your parents did not earn income, or earned income in the U.S. but do not file a U.S. federal tax return, please submit a Nontax Filer form to IDOC. Please include any W-2 forms issued by their employers. First Year and Transfer Applicants can obtain the Nontax Filer Form via IDOC. Returning Students can use the Tufts form.
Do not submit state income taxes. If you lost your copy of your federal taxes you may contact the Internal Revenue Service to request a new one.
If you need to request a W-2 from Tufts, you may do so by logging into eServe with your Tufts UTLN and password. This is best done on a laptop or desktop computer with the pop-up blocker turned off. If you are having difficulty, please contact Tufts Support Services at 617-627-7000.
IDOC (Institutional Documentation Services)
After you submit your CSS Profile, you will upload all other required documents (such as personal and business taxes, W-2s, and verification worksheets) to IDOC, a service of the College Board. Do not send documents directly to Tufts.
You may check IDOC to verify that your documents have been processed by the College Board. Please note it takes a few business days for documents submitted to IDOC to be received by Tufts.
2024-2025 Early Decision First-Year Applicants update (12/5/23): The College Board has announced that IDOC is currently experiencing a processing timeline of at least 10 business days. Please note:
- Your IDOC dashboard reflects the status of your uploaded documents. Once a document is processed, it moves into the “Processed Documents” section of your IDOC dashboard and is no longer listed as an outstanding required document.
- Please do not upload documents multiple times to IDOC while you wait for them to process. Schools are provided the date you uploaded materials.
- Please note that the longer College Board processing timeline will increase the time it takes for Tufts to receive items you have submitted to IDOC.
If you are a first year applicant, you can log in to your Admissions account to view your personalized list of required documents and track the items that have been received by Tufts. If you are a current or returning student, please log in to SIS to view your personalized list of required documents and track the items that have been received by Tufts.
If you need help submitting the IDOC, you can contact the College Board.
CSS Profile for Noncustodial Parent
If your parents are divorced, separated, or were never married and live apart, your noncustodial parent is required to complete a separate CSS Profile. Your noncustodial parent will need to create their own College Board account in order to complete the CSS Profile. The noncustodial parent should be complete their CSS Profile after you and your custodial parent submit a CSS Profile.
Returning Tufts students who applied for aid in the past do not need to have their noncustodial parent submit another CSS Profile or waiver request. In cases where a returning student's parents become newly separated or divorced, a CSS Profile for Noncustodial Parent may be required.
If you are a first year applicant and have no contact with your noncustodial parent, you may answer the questions in the CSS Profile to determine if a waiver can be approved.
More details about the Tufts policy regarding divorced/separated parents can be found under our financial aid policies.