FAFSA Process

The FAFSA is used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for need-based aid (grants, loans, work-study). It will determine if you qualify for College, state and federal government funds.

ALERT: Illinois residents must submit their FAFSA before midnight Saturday, February 21 to be considered for the Illinois MAP Grant ($4700)!  If necessary, estimate your income now, and update values later.

 

We recommend that you complete the FAFSA …
  • if cost will be factor in your enrollment
  • even if you do not think you will qualify
  • even if have not yet been admitted to a College.
  • even if you have not completed your tax return 
  • General Notes about the FAFSA:

    • The web address is www.fafsa.gov.
    • Our Federal School Code is 001706.
    • The FAFSA is not required if you are applying only for scholarships.
    • Applications received late will be accepted, but available funding may be less.


The Process:
  • Apply for a PIN - student and parent need one to sign the FAFSA.
  • Go to www.fafsa.gov and log in.
  • Choose 2015-2016 to receive funds from August ’15 to May ’16
  • Do not leave any question blank unless instructed to do so.
  • If you have nothing to report for a financial question, enter $0.    
  • Questions with “you” or “your” always refer to the student applying for financial aid.
  • Step 5 – Financial Information: this step tends to have more questions and/or errors, so we encourage you to watch this video clip (8 min 30 sec) to help insure proper completion
  • If your 2014 tax return is not completed, it may be appropriate to begin with your 2013 tax return, and make adjustments for known differences in 2014 (pay raises, investment income, business/rental income, etc.).  You may correct/update the FAFSA once your tax return is done.
  • Be sure that you and your parent sign the FAFSA with the PINs 
  • You must click “Submit My FAFSA Now.” Print the confirmation page. If you don’t see a confirmation page, your FAFSA has not been submitted.

What Happens Next:
  • The federal student aid processing center will send an email confirming that your FAFSA was received.
  • A few days later, an email will tell you that your FAFSA has been processed, and will provide a link to a “Student Aid Report” (SAR) which summarizes your application. Review this for accuracy.
  • We recommend that you create a file folder to keep all financial aid documents (ID #s, PINs, confirmation pages, SAR, etc.).
  • Our office will receive your FAFSA results two days after it is processed.
  • If you have been admitted to the College, we will prepare a statement showing all financial aid you qualify to receive. This Award Letter” is sent by email to you and your parent, and also by regular mail. Be sure to review the
  • Provide any documentation we require. This is usually listed on the second page of the award letter in the “Important Messages” section. Most can be scanned/emailed, faxed or mailed.

Need Help With Your FAFSA?
  • use the online help available from each page of the FAFSA site
  • call the Federal Student Aid Information Center 800-433-3243 or 319-337-5665
  • call the Office of Financial Aid 800-828-4751 or 847-735-5010