PLEASE NOTE: This page explains how full-time undergraduate students can apply for financial aid.
If you are a part-time student (taking fewer than 12 credits a semester) or a graduate student, visit:
How to Apply for Financial AidComplete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you filed a FAFSA last year, you need only complete the Renewal FAFSA, which is quicker.
February is the best month for returning students to file their FAFSA. This is because most parents and students need to receive W-2 forms from their employers before filing their federal taxes, and employers have until the end of January to deliver those W-2 forms.
The ideal FAFSA filing timeline is this:
The Department of Education takes the FAFSA data and calculates what it believes the family can afford to pay for the student's education. This figure is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
How is financial aid eligibility determined?
Financial Aid Award
The financial aid award will itemize all grants, scholarships, loans, and possible student employment funds. It shows how much money will go toward each semester of education for the school year. The notice also estimates the college cost, allowing families to subtract their financial aid so they can determine what they might have to finance themselves.