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A student requests assistance from the Financial Aid Office by completing the following steps.

As a preliminary, get organized. Be sure you and your parents have your financial documents at hand, including your 2018 federal tax return(s), 2018 W-2s or other wage statements, bank account balances, etc. You will need this information as you complete the following steps.


Complete the FAFSA: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online by March 2, 2020* at The FAFSA is used to determine a student's eligibility for federal and state grants and federal loans. It is also required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents seeking institutional aid from the College.

Here are a few tips to make your FAFSA completion easier and more accurate:

  • The student and at least one parent will need to have an FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA online. A short tutorial showing how to create an FSA ID can be found here.
  • The results of the FAFSA will be sent to the College so long as the College’s school code is included in the appropriate section of the form. The school code for Thomas Aquinas College is 023580.
  • The FAFSA asks for prior-prior year tax information; therefore, the 2020-21 FAFSA asks for information from your 2018 tax return.
  • We recommend you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, found within the FAFSA, to import your tax information easily and accurately.
  • Have your 2018 W-2s with you when you complete the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool "sees" only your tax return. It does not have access to your W-2 forms, so parents will need to use their W-2s to check that "income from work" reported on the FAFSA is correctly allocated between father and mother. Parents and student will also have to manually enter any pre-tax retirement contributions reported in box 12 of the W-2 as untaxed income on the FAFSA .

Thomas Aquinas College requires that parental financial information be included on the FAFSA for not only dependent students but also independent students, unless the Director of Financial Aid has specifically instructed otherwise.

Canadian students and other international students do not need to complete the FAFSA.

Additional resources that provide more information about the FAFSA can be found on our Forms and Publications webpage.


Complete the CSS Profile: Complete the CSS Profile online by March 2, 2020* at

The CSS Profile is used to determine a student's eligibility for Thomas Aquinas College’s institutional, need-based Service Scholarship (work-study) program and grant program. All students seeking institutional aid must complete the CSS Profile, regardless of whether they are a citizen of the United States, Canada or any other country.

The CSS Profile code for Thomas Aquinas College is 4828. The same code is used whether you plan to attend the California campus or the New England campus.

There is a $25 fee to complete the CSS Profile, although a fee waiver may be granted to a first-time college student from a low income family -- see the CSS Profile website for more information.

Additional resources that provide more information about the CSS Profile can be found on our Forms and Publications webpage.

(The CSS Profile replaces the Confidential Family Financial Statement that was used in prior years.)


Submit 2018 tax documents: After you have completed the CSS Profile, the College Board will send you an e-mail with instructions for uploading signed copies of your parents' and your own 2018 federal tax documents through the College Board's secure Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC). (During peak times, it may take up to a few hours for your IDOC dashboard to be created. The College Board will send you an e-mail notification when it is available.)

Tax documents must be uploaded by March 2, 2020*.

Do not send tax documents directly to the Financial Aid Office. Tax documents must be uploaded through the College Board's IDOC service in order for our financial aid software to import the information.

Be sure to upload:

  • Your parents' and your own 2018 federal tax return and all schedules and attachments sent to the IRS (or to the Canada Revenue Agency for Canadians);
  • All W-2s (T-4s for Canadians);
  • All SSA-1099s (Social Security Benefit Statements) for parents and all dependents within the family (if applicable); and
  • All Form K-1s (Partner’s/Shareholder’s/Beneficiary’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits) issued by any partnerships, corporations and trusts (if applicable).

Canadian applicants must upload their 2018 tax documents through IDOC by this same date (March 2).

You can learn more about the College Board's IDOC service at the IDOC Tutorial webpage.

The confidentiality of your information is very important to the College Board and to Thomas Aquinas College. To ensure the highest level of data integrity, privacy, and security, the College Board has implemented systems that include multiple firewalls with unique security zones, data encryption, intrusion detection systems and data integrity checks. Your information will be stored in a secure environment, and will be communicated only to the financial aid office(s) at IDOC-participating college(s) and program(s) to which you are applying.


Apply for the Cal Grant (if applicable): This step is only for students who are residents of California.

A student who...

  • is a resident of California and
  • will be an incoming freshman (Class of 2024) or a rising sophomore (Class of 2023) in 2020-21 and
  • does not already have a four-year Cal Grant award

must not only complete the FAFSA by March 2, 2020, but must also submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2, 2020 (postmark deadline).

Massachusetts residents are not eligible to receive a MassGrant at our Northfield campus, but if a Massachusetts resident would have been eligible for a MassGrant, it is likely that his need-based aid from Thomas Aquinas College will fill any need that would been filled by the MassGrant.

*  *  *

Other Information: In some cases the College may require additional information to clarify unusual circumstances or to satisfy verification requirements of state or federal agencies.

Noncustodial Parents: If a student’s parents have separated or divorced, the noncustodial parent must complete his own CSS Profile application by March 2, 2020.

The noncustodial parent creates and uses a student account. He just needs to create a student account using the parent’s information. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Sign In to button for the appropriate application award year.
  3. Click "Create Account" under "Don’t have an account?"
  4. Create an account using the noncustodial parent’s information (not the student’s information).
  5. Once the noncustodial parent has created an account and is completing the CSS Profile application, he should be careful to answer student sections with the student’s information and parent sections with the parent’s information. This seems obvious, but sometimes applicants miss the section headers.

The noncustodial parent does not need a password or code to start his application.

The custodial and noncustodial parents have separate CSS Profile accounts with different College Board log-in credentials.

Each household should not share their account/log-in credentials with each other to maintain the confidentiality of their applications.

We recommend that the student and the custodial parent start the CSS Profile application first. The noncustodial parent can start the application at any time, but the noncustodial parent will not be able to complete the application until the student selects a college (such as Thomas Aquinas College) that requires both separated or divorced parents to complete a CSS Profile.

After the noncustodial parent has completed his CSS Profile, the College Board will send him an e-mail with instructions for uploading signed copies of his 2018 federal tax documents through the College Board's secure Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC). The noncustodial parent’s household must upload their tax documents by March 2, 2020*.



*Deadlines for Incoming Freshmen: Incoming freshmen must submit the FAFSA, CSS Profile, tax documents and any other paperwork by March 2, 2020 or 30 days after acceptance, whichever is later. All California residents, however, must complete the FAFSA and the GPA Verification Form by March 2, 2020, in order to be considered for a Cal Grant. This is a firm deadline for the Cal Grant.

Apply for Financial Aid 2016

“Thomas Aquinas College is one of the premiere liberal arts colleges in the country and the pride and joy of the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.”

– Most Rev. Robert E. Barron

Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles