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)

This is the federal government’s form that must be completed online by students seeking federal financial aid, and helps Tufts your eligibility for federal student aid funding.

FAFSA Customer Support: 800-433-3243

Tufts Federal Code: 002219

Complete the FAFSA

2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

The U.S. Department of Education has rolled out significant changes in the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Instead of the typical October 1 release, they made the FAFSA available on December 31, 2023. 

They also confirmed that they plan to begin sending FAFSA data to schools in late March. As a result, a submitted FAFSA will appear as "Not Received" in the personalized checklist of required financial aid documents for undergraduate first-year applicants and admitted students and returning students until late March 2024. When the U.S. Department of Education begins sending FAFSA data to Tufts, the document's status will be updated accordingly.  

You can visit the Launch of the 2024–25 FAFSA Form page on the Federal Student Aid website to access updates, resources and help for submitting the FAFSA. A list of key changes to the FAFSA can be found below.

Watch "What’s Changed for the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form?"

Watch "2024–25 FAFSA FAQs"

    • 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    • The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) calculated after completion of the FAFSA has been replaced by the SAI (Student Aid Index)
    • The SAR (Student Aid Report) generated after completion of the FAFSA has been replaced by the FAFSA Submission Summary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.

    Watch "Who Is a Contributor on the 2024–25 FAFSA Form?"

  • 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. 

CSS Profile

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: Getting Started

Creating a CSS Profile Account for Parent Use

CSS Profile Tutorial

CSS Profile Customer Service: help@cssprofile.org or 844-202-0524

Tufts CSS Profile code: 3901

Complete the CSS Profile

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.

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.

IDOC Tutorial

If you need help submitting the IDOC, you can contact the College Board.

Submit Documents through IDOC

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.

Complete the CSS Profile for Noncustodial Parent

Tufts Returning Student Aid Application

This form is for domestic returning undergraduates only, who log in the using their Tufts UTLN to complete and submit it electronically. The form for the upcoming year's aid application is available in January.

Complete the Tufts Returning Student Aid Application

Additional Information