How to Apply For Financial Aid
Applying for Financial Aid
In order to make Federal Financial Aid more accessible to students across the United States, the federal government has made the application process easier and more straightforward. Below is a basic guide you can follow as you apply for aid. If you need help or more information, visit the official FAFSA website or contact the University of San Francisco’s One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office at 415-422-2020 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 1: Gather the documents
You will need:
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver’s license or state ID (if any)
- Your most recent W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
- Your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) most recent Federal Income Tax Return (or your Foreign Tax Return)
- Your most recent untaxed income records:
-Veterans benefits records
-Child support received
-Your current bank statements
-Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records,
stock, bond and other investment records
-Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
Step 2: Obtain a PIN
The next step is to obtain a Personal Identification Number or PIN. You will use this PIN code each year to access your Federal Student Aid records online and to apply for Financial Aid.
Important: Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, so you should never give your PIN to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to record and keep your PIN in a safe place.
Step 3: Fill out the FAFSA
To determine your eligibility, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility is determined by your financial situation. Almost every student is eligible for some form of financial aid, regardless of income or circumstances, provided that you:
- Are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Are registered with the U.S. Selective Service (if you are a male aged 18-25)
- Complete a FAFSA promising to use any federal aid for educational purposes
- Do not owe refunds on any federal student grants
- Are not in default on any student loans
- Have not been found guilty of the sale or possession of illegal drugs during a period in which federal aid was being received
Important: Check with the University of San Francisco’s One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office to determine their exact FAFSA deadlines and requirements.
Step 4: Your Student Aid Report
After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) with all of the financial information you provided. Review this document carefully and make any necessary corrections.
The SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution, which is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid during one school year. Your school will receive an electronic copy of the SAR and use this information to decide how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. If you are selected for the verification process, please wait for instructions from the One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office regarding required documents to submit.
Step 5: Determine Your Options
Congratulations, you have made it through the Financial Aid Application process. You now know how much federal loan amount you are eligible to receive. At this point in the process you can choose how much money you would like to accept and/or explore other funding options.
Important: Keep track of all deadlines and required paperwork. If you have any questions contact your financial aid advisor.
Financial Aid will be disbursed to you no sooner than the beginning of each school term. Aid will only be disbursed if you have fulfilled all requirements, including paperwork and promissory notes.
Important Loan Information
As with any loan, make sure you fully understand the interest rates, repayment terms, and tax implications. Find out if interest charges are variable or fixed, if the loan has forgiveness or deferment provisions, if you can consolidate the loan with other loans, and if it carries prepayment penalties. Remember that loans must be repaid even if you do not finish school. Pursuing an advanced degree is an important investment; take the time to explore all financing options before you decide on how to fund your education.