Applying for Financial Aid



Update: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) Statement on IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

Privacy Concerns Force Tool to Remain Offline; Students, Parents and Borrowers Should Use Other Options to Provide Financial Data on Applications

March 30, 2017

To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS and FSA announced today the Data Retrieval Tool on and will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While we are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season (2018-2019 school year).

Since the tool was disabled in early March due to security concerns, the IRS has been working closely with FSA to safely return the tool to service. "We know this tool is an easy way for students and families working on applications to access their financial data," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "While this tool provides an important convenience for applicants, we cannot risk the safety of taxpayer data. Protecting taxpayer data has to be the highest priority, and we will continue working with FSA to bring this tool back in a safe and secure manner.

"We have heard from students, parents, and the financial aid community that applying for aid is harder without the DRT," said James W. Runcie, Federal Student Aid chief operating officer. "We will do all we can to help students and families successfully submit applications while the tool is unavailable and remain committed to protecting applicants' personal information."

Options Remain Available for Students, Parents and Borrowers

While the Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, FSA and the IRS remind applicants that online applications are still available and are operable.

The income information needed to complete the FAFSA and apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan can be found on a previously filed tax return.

Students and parents completing a 2016–17 and 2017–18 FAFSA should manually enter 2015 tax information (not 2016).

Borrowers applying for an IDR plan should submit alternative documentation of income to their federal loan servicers after they complete and submit the online IDR application. The process for submitting the alternative documentation of income is explained to borrowers as part of the online IDR application. While the Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, a borrower may submit a paper copy of his or her tax return, copies of pay stubs or other acceptable forms of documentation explained online during the application process.

If a copy of the tax return is not readily available, the applicant may be able to access the tax software used to prepare the return or contact their tax preparer to obtain a copy.

If necessary, a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, may be viewed and downloaded from at Get Transcript Online, with the proper identity verification. Additionally, Get Transcript by Mail can be accessed online, or the taxpayer can call 1-800-908-9946, and a transcript will be delivered to the address of record within five to 10 days.

Applying for Title IV, State, and Institutional Financial Aid

Title IV aid is need-based aid (federal programs such as Pell Grants, SEOG, Work Study, Stafford Loans, and state programs such as TEOG and TPEG). Need-based programs require an analysis of the student's financial circumstances to determine need. The application process used by Cisco College to perform this need analysis is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You can complete  the FAFSA online by logging on to . 


For FAFSA Cisco College school code is 003553


STEP 1: Before you start the FAFSA, create an FSA ID.


             (Click on button above to create one now)

How to Create an FSA ID

Application Steps to Follow:

  1. Complete and submit the FAFSA to the Department of Education
    • (You will need your 1040 income tax form if you filed and/or your parent's 1040 form(s) for the appropriate year to complete your FAFSA) If you need a copy of your tax return, call 1-800-829-1040 and request IRS tax transcript or go to the IRS website at
    • Students are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FASFA. This tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FASFA and transfer the data directly to their FASFA.


  2. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) or an email confirmation as a result of submitting the FAFSA.
  3. Cisco College will begin a file on you once the Financial Aid Office has downloaded your information from the Department of Education.

    • The Cisco College Financial Aid Office will need additional information to verify your FAFSA information, we will request it in writing or by email.
    • Please be prompt in responding to any request for additional information and/or documents. You will not be asked to provide more than that which is required.
    • When all your paperwork is completed, returned, and verified, we will be able to determine the type and amount of financial aid for which you have qualified.
  4. The amount of your Pell Grant will be based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Detailed information regarding your Pell Grant can be found on your Campus Connect. Pell Grants are awarded on a Full time basis. Students enrolled in less than full time will receive a pro-rated award based on the hours enrolled.


Applying for Student Loans

Important information for students who use federal Stafford loans to finance their education:

Cisco College will begin processing loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program beginning with the Fall 2010 school year. This program will replace the current Federal Stafford Student Loan program. Participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program will allow our current and future students with more assurance that funding will be available for federal education loans.

Here are some of the benefits that Cisco students will receive from this change:

  • The Direct Loan Program is funded directly by the Federal government, thereby eliminating some of the confusion by offering a single source and process for federal loans.
  • Direct loans are not sold by the Federal Government; borrowers will know who holds their loan during repayment. In addition, prior borrowers can consolidate Federal Stafford Loans with their Direct Loans, enabling them to track their loans with one lender instead of multiple lenders.
  • Direct Loan offers a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and an income-based repayment option for students in certain public service professions or who have low incomes.

All students must complete a new Entrance Counseling and a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the current school year along with a loan request form for Cisco College. Loan request forms may be found on the Cisco College web site under Financial Aid. Go to e-forms on line and complete a  loan request packet and submit to the Financial Aid office.

Entrance counseling, Exit counseling, and Master Promissory Notes may be found at
If you have any questions regarding your Loan you may contact the Financial Aid office for assistance at 254-442-5153 or 325-794-4417

 To qualify for a student loan, a student must have documented financial need determined by the completion of the FAFSA. The student must be making satisfactory progress and enrolled in at least 6 hours. THE STUDENT ASSUMES THE OBLIGATION TO REPAY THE LOAN AND ACCRUED INTEREST beginning six months after ceasing at least half-time enrollment.

Steps for Summer Financial Aid  

*Summer Applications are now available in the Financial Aid Office*

  1. Complete FAFSA.
  2. Complete Summer Financial Aid Application. 
  3. Contact Financial Aid Office for eligibility requirements.