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Steps for Using Your 2016 Income for the 2017-18 Aid Year

Starting in the 2017-18 financial aid year, the government has switched to using the tax information for 2 years back, instead of 1 year, on the FAFSA. This means they will be looking at the 2015 tax information, and you will need to use that on the FAFSA to prevent an error.

However, you can still use your 2016 income for 2017-18 financial aid, if it is significantly less than your income was in 2015.

This requires submitting a form called the "Professional Judgment for Income Reduction" and the additional required documentation. See below for the steps to do this:

  1. Fill out the attached Professional Judgment form.

    a) Select option #1 - “unemployment or change in employment which has drastically reduced your and (or) your spouse’s income”.

    b) Note that if you're a Dependent student (see below), you will need to supply information on your parent(s) income as well.

  2. Write a letter of explanation of how your financial situation changed in 2016.

    a) For example, if you were living in a homeless shelter and were unemployed, you could simply state that.

    b) You can type the letter, but the signature and date must be written in pen.

  3. Fill out the 2017-2018 Filing Status Worksheet (also attached). Note that it is asking about whether you filed taxes in 2015, not 2016.

  4. Fill out the 2017-2018 Household Information Worksheet. This form asks about the members your household in 2017.

    a) If you are still married, you will need to include your spouse in your household, even if you do not live with him/her.
    b) You will not need to include any children if you are not providing more than half of their support.
  5. If you have a “monetary determination letter from Unemployment”, attach that. But if you didn’t receive unemployment benefits in 2016, that shouldn’t be required.

  6. Get your 2015 Federal Income Tax Transcript from the IRS.

    a) If you filed jointly, you will need one for both you and your spouse.

    b) See the directions below for how to get this form.

  7. If you did file taxes in 2016, request also your 2016 Federal Income Tax Transcript.

    If you didn’t file taxes in 2016, get your paystubs for 2017 year-to-date. If you don’t have any, state that in the letter you wrote in step #2, with the reason why.
  8. Fax all these forms to the City Vision Financial Aid Office at 816-256-8471.
  9. Once we’ve received the forms, our financial aid servicer will review them, and let us know if anything else is needed.

Independent vs. Dependent Students

In steps 1, 3 & 4, you will need to fill out the Independent worksheets if the US government considers you to be an Independent student. Otherwise, fill out the forms for Dependent students.

If you are not sure which you are, look at the questions on If your answer to all of them is "No" you should consider yourself a Dependent student. All students over 24, or in grad school, are independent.

Getting an IRS Tax Return Transcript

To get an IRS Tax Return Transcript, do the following:

  • Go to

  • Under the Tools heading, click "Get a tax transcript."

  • Click “Get Transcript ONLINE.” Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.”

  • Alternatively, you can call 1-800- 908-9946.

If you can’t get it online,  you can call the phone number, above, or else fill out the 4506-T form to request it.

You can download and print the 4506-T form here. On line 5, put the following address:

City Vision University, 48 Pleasant St., Dorchester, MA 02125 / 816-960-2008

When completed, mail to the address indicated on the 2nd page, in the "Chart for individual transcripts" section.

If you have any difficulty with any of these steps, please let us know at financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu or call our financial aid office at 816-960-2008 x108.