FAQ's

Registration
DC OneApp Application

Q: How do I apply for DCTAG online?
A: You may apply for DCTAG by completing a DC OneApp, an online application for DCTAG, that can be found at dconeapp.dc.gov.

Q: If I received DCTAG in previous years, do I have to apply for the grant every year?
A: Yes. The DCTAG must be applied for each year by completing a DC OneApp and submitting all required supporting documents. 

Q: I submitted my DC OneApp and need to make changes to the information but I can only review my application. How can I get changes made to my DC OneApp?
A: Once you submit your DC OneApp, you must contact the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to speak with your assigned Postsecondary Education counselor to have changes made to your aplication. A listing of the Postsecondary Education Counselors can be found here

Q: When is the deadline to apply for DCTAG?
A: The deadline for DCTAG is June 30 of each year but we encourage you to apply early. In addition to completing the online application, you must also submit all supporting documents. All required supporting documents must be postmarked or hand delivered by June 30. Any applications and submissions after that date will be waitlisted.

Q: If I have problems completing the application, whom do I call?
A: If you encounter problems completing the DC OneApp, Please contact the Postsecondary Education Office at (202) 727-2824 and someone will be able to assist you.

Q: If I lose my password or user id, what do I do?
A: The DC OneApp  has a “Forgot Email Address/Password/Pin” link under “Returning User”. Click on the link and select an option to reset your user information. Select the user information forgotten and follow the instructions to reset your information. 

Q: If I am not a citizen, can I still apply? 
A: DCTAG is a federal financial aid program, therefore only eligible citizens and non-citizens can be approved for funding. The citizenship requirements can be found on this website - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/. If you cannot complete the FAFSA because of your citizenship status, you would not be eligible for DCTAG funding.
 
Q: If I do not have a social security number, how do I get one?
A: All applicants for DCTAG funding must have valid Social Security Numbers? To apply for such a number, you should contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Q: If my parent/guardian does not have a social security number, what do I do?
A: All parents/legal guardians must have valid Social Security Numbers. To apply for such a number, you should contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Q: If I do not have an email account, what do I do? 
A: If you don't have an email account, you may obtain a free one from email providers such as, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and AOL to name a few. To apply for federal aid, you will also need an email account to complete your FAFSA.

DC OneApp Supporting Documents

Domicile - Certified Stamped D-40:

Q: I mailed a D-40 tax return with all my required supporting documents and received my required supporting documents back with a request from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for a Certified Stamped D-40. Why?
A: You provided either an Uncertified or Customer Service Stamped D-40 but not the required Certified Stamped D-40 DC D-40 Income Tax Return. A D-40 without a ‘Certified True’ stamp from the Office of Tax & Revenue is not a sufficient District of Columbia tax return for the  DCTAG Application

Q: I filed an extension for last year’s taxes. What can I do to satisfy the requirement for a Certified Stamped D-40?
A: If you filed an extension for last year’s taxes, a certified District of Columbia extension along with a Certified Stamped D-40 from the previous year will satisfy the Certified Stamped D-40 requirement. However, a copy of the return for which an extension was granted will be required with the next year’s DCTAG Application.

Domicile - Social Security

Q: I hand delivered a Social Security statement with all of my required supporting documents and was advised by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) that I needed a SSI document. Why?
A: A Social Security statement that covers only one month is not sufficient; the SSI document must include the12 months of continuous benefits for the previous calendar year (January-December).

Dependency

Q: I file my own taxes. Can I apply as an independent applicant?
A: DCTAG adheres to the rules of the U.S. Department of Education, which state that you are independent if you:

  1. Are 24 years of age or over;
  2. Are a Ward of the Court;
  3. Have parents or guardians who are incarcerated or incapacitated;
  4. Have children who receive more than half of their support from you;
  5. Are a member of the Armed Forces;
  6. Are married; or,
  7. Are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s D-40 income tax return, TANF payment, or other forms of non-taxable income.

Q: My parent/guardian(s) have no income and do not file taxes. What other sources of documentation are acceptable?
A: Please contact your assigned Postsecondary Education counselor to discuss acceptable sources of documentation.

Q: My parent/guardian(s) claim me on their tax return, but do not have any utility bills because my parent/guardian(s) live with my grandmother. What do I provide for a utility?
A: You may provide a Notarized Statement from your grandmother stating that your parent/guardian(s) live with her and a copy of one current utility bill, phone bill (land line not cell phone) bank statement, and/or pay stub (less than 45 days old) reflecting your grandmother’s name and address. The Notarized Statement will be accepted only after a Notary Public signs and stamps the statement.

Q: My parents are not around and I live with my grandmother. Can she claim me on her taxes?
A: Yes. If your grandmother provides more than fifty percent of your support and you are 24 years of age or younger, she can claim you as a dependent on her tax return. However, your grandmother must be your legal guardian in order to be eligible for DCTAG.

Institution

Q: How do I find out if the institutions I am considering are eligible to receive the DCTAG?
A: To learn if the institution(s) you are considering are eligible to participate in the DC TAG, visit www.osse.dc.gov and follow the link to ‘Postsecondary Education’. Chose the grant(s) you believe you are eligible for and click on that grant(s) ‘Eligible Institutions’ link.

Q: If I am a student at an approved institution and I am planning to study outside the U.S. for one semester, will I receive grant funds for that semester?
A: Most programs that offer study outside the U.S. for one or two semesters are not eligible for funding as they do not have either an in or out-of-state tuition charge or it's at another college or university. Students in a study-abroad program must be enrolled at the eligible home institution Enrollment and there must be both in and out-of-state tuition charges for all participating students. If you are attending your home institution and there is both an in and out-of-state tuition charge, the program would be DCTAG eligible.  As very few such programs are eligible, please confirm the program's eligibility with the Postsecondary Education Office.

Q: My institution is threatening to drop my classes because it did not receive DCTAG funds. Can they do that?
A: The DCTAG Participation Agreement (PPA) entered into by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and a participating institution states that if a student is eligible for DCTAG funding, the institution must consider the funding amount when determining a student’s balance due. An eligible student will not be held liable for forthcoming DCTAG funds. If the only outstanding balance on a student’s account is forthcoming DCTAG funds, an institution cannot drop that student’s classes. 

*Note: balances due beyond DCTAG funds are the student’s responsibility and an institution has the discretion to treat that balance due in accordance with its rules and regulations.

FAFSA

Q: I am not applying for any federal loans or grants. Why do I have to complete a FAFSA and submit a SAR?
A:DCTAG is a federally funded programs and therefore the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) complies with recommendations set forth by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). To ensure compliance with federal eligibility requirements, such as citizenship, selective service registration (for males 18 years of age and over) valid social security numbers, student loan default status, as a result, OSSE requires all applicants complete the FAFSA and provide a valid SAR.

Q: I hand delivered a print out of my FAFSA to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and was advised that I need a Student Aid Report. Why?
A: After completion of the FAFSA, you will immediately be able to access a ‘Print Summary’ of the information you submitted. This is not the same document as the ‘SAR’. The ‘SAR’ documents validation by the U.S. Department of Education that the information submitted through FAFSA is accurate. Once you complete the FAFSA and it is processed by the U.S. Department of Education, a SAR will be the output document that is provided to you.

Q: I am having difficulties with my Federal Student Aid “FSA” ID. How can I get help?
A: Please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov if you are having difficulties with your FSA ID. The log-in page will have links that give you the option of retrieving your FSA ID through your verified e-mail address or by successfully answering your challenge questions.

Q: My Estimated Family Contribution ‘EFC’ has a ‘C’ after the figure. Why is this? What can I do?
A: A ‘C’ after your ‘Estimated Family Contribution’ (EFC) figure is a flag informing you that a correction and/or clarification is required. Your FAFSA will provide an explanation of the correction(s) needed under the section titled ‘Corrections That Need to Be Made.’ You must make the correction(s) and/or provide the clarification to FAFSA either online or by contacting FAFSA at 800-433-3243. Until the “C” Flag has been resolved, it is not a valid SAR.

Q: Does my EFC number impact how much funding I will receive from the DCTAG?
A: Your EFC figure has no impact on your award priority or funding for DCTAG as DCTAG is not a need based grant. The EFC is part of the process to determine how much federal or institutional assistance you will receive from your college or university.

Q: How is my EFC number calculated?
A:The U.S. Department of Education uses the information included in the FAFSA to determine the ‘Estimated Family Contribution’ (EFC). For more information, please contact FAFSA at 800-433-3243 or visit the US Department of Education’s Website, which is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/.