Applying for Federal Student Loans
STEP 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This form is used by virtually all colleges, universities and career schools for the awarding of federal student aid such as student loans and grants as well as state and college aid. The official FAFSA® is at www.FAFSA.ed.gov, and there are three ways to complete a FAFSA®:
Applying online is generally faster and easier because FAFSA® on the Web has a built-in guide to help you through the application process. It prompts you to answer key questions and may allow you to skip other questions, and the school you list on your application will receive your processed information faster. Additionally, there is an integrated IRS Data Retrieval Tool that will allow applicants who have already filed their federal income tax returns to prefill the answers to the questions on the FAFSA® by transferring data from their federal income tax return. This can save time in completing the FAFSA® and is also the easiest way to provide your tax data. It may also reduce the likelihood that your FAFSA® will be selected for verification.
STEP 2: Review the Student Aid Report
You will receive a Student Aid Report from the U.S. Department of Education after completing the FAFSA®. Review this report, to insure the information is accurate. If necessary, follow the instructions to make corrections.
STEP 3: Submit Paperwork as Requested by the Financial Aid Office
The financial aid office will request any needed paperwork including signed copies of tax returns (used for the FAFSA® filing) and a verification worksheet. Occasionally, other documents may be required for verification purposes. The financial aid office will contact you to request these documents, if needed.
STEP 4: Review your Financial Aid Award Notification
You will receive an award notification (letter or email), which will show your estimated aid and costs of attending the school. Sign and return the award letter in order to accept the financial aid awarded. Be sure you understand the conditions of the awards accepted. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions or concerns.
STEP 5: Complete the Federal Student Loan MPN (Master Promissory Note)
If you are accepting student loans, be sure to follow the school’s instructions to complete the Entrance Interview and required MPN.
STEP 6: Inform the Financial Aid Office about Additional Financial Aid Received
As soon as possible, let the financial aid office know if you receive an award or financial aid from any other source, such as a scholarship not directly associated with the school. A change in your resources may affect your financial aid. In the case of student loans, additional scholarships and grants could lower the loan amount you need to borrow which means a lower payment in the future.
Remember! You must reapply for financial aid each year which also means completing the FAFSA® each year you apply for financial aid.