How to Apply for Financial Aid: First-Year Applicants for 2018-19

FALL 2018 APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 1, 2018

The University of Virginia meets 100% of a student's demonstrated financial need.  For more information about our financial aid program, see http://financialaid.virginia.edu.

Eligible students who wish to be considered for all types of need-based state and institutional financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year must complete and submit the 2018-2019 CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (Profile) and 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1, 2018. This deadline impacts financial aid eligibility for the entire academic year, including January Term and Summer Session. In addition, students who wish to receive a preliminary financial aid award before the May 1 admission commitment date should also submit all supporting documents by March 1. Please refer to our Guide to the Profile for help in completing this application.

Students who are unable to meet the application deadline should contact Student Financial Services well before the deadline. Students who do not submit their applications by March 1 may still apply for federal financial aid (Federal Direct Loans and, if they qualify, a Pell Grant).

 

PREPARING TO APPLY

Available starting October 1st, the 2018-2019 Profile and 2018-2019 FAFSA ask for income and tax information from 2016. Most families, by October 1, 2017, should have all materials available to complete these two applications.

Once you have submitted the applications you can update your FAFSA online, but the Profile cannot be updated online. Please contact SFS for instructions on updating your Profile.  Most undergraduate students will need help from their parents to complete all the application materials, so start the conversation early. Don't wait until February to get started.

Important Note: Our office assumes that the tax documents you supply to Student Financial Services accurately reflect what you have submitted to the IRS. We use tax return data to make corrections to the FAFSA and the Profile and will update those documents with the corrected data after May 1 each year.

 

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Step 1: Required Applications

The following documents are required by March 1 for a student to be considered for all forms of need-based federal and institutional financial aid.  Early action applicants should complete and submit these two applications, along with the Required Supporting Documents listed below, prior to January 1, 2018, if they wish to receive a preliminary financial aid award by the early action admission decision release date of February 1.

 

Step 2: Required Additional Documents

The following documents are required of all applicants.  Early action students must submit all of these documents, in addition to the Profile and the FAFSA, prior to January 1, 2018, in order to receive a preliminary award by February 1.  All other applicants must submit all of these documents by March 1 in order to receive a preliminary award prior to the May 1 admission commitment deadline. Students who submit these requirements after March 1 will still be considered for all forms of aid but are not guaranteed a preliminary award by May 1.  After submission of all the required documents below, students should also check their SIS To Do List regularly for any additional required documentation.

* Applicants who are considered independent for financial aid purposes should only submit the student 1040 and W-2. For information on circumstances that may qualify an applicant as independent for federal financial aid purposes, please click here.

Documents may be submitted by fax (preferred), email, or paper mail. Our contact information is at the bottom of this page. Please choose only one method of transmission and ensure the documents are labeled with the student's full legal name and student ID number (sent to the student in the email they received from Undergraduate Admission when they applied for admission).

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

It bears repeating that SFS does not award merit-based financial aid.  If you want to get a sense for what types and amount of aid you might receive, we have two calculators available for you to do so.  They are the MyinTuition Estimator and the Net Price Calculator.  Both are specifically designed according to our policies regarding the awarding of financial aid and are updated annually each fall.  These are estimators to guide you in your decisions, but your specific financial aid award will be based upon the materials you provide to SFS.

Applications are reviewed based upon the date the application is considered complete--the earlier a student submits all application requirements, the earlier that student’s application will be reviewed. Because the University meets 100% of a student's demonstrated need, students are not awarded more or "better" financial aid based on the date they apply, provided that both the PROFILE and the FAFSA were submitted by March 1. 

Students should check their SIS To Do List frequently. In some cases, additional documents and forms may be required before the application review can be completed and an award can be offered. 
 
Two common application errors that result in requests additional information include:
  • information was omitted that should have been reported
  • discrepancies exist between information reported, most likely between the PROFILE and the FAFSA

Delays in submitting requested information may result in a delay in providing an award. Students who are unable to submit or are having difficulty submitting both the PROFILE and the FAFSA by March 1 should contact our office immediately.  You can reach us at (434) 982-6000.

 

Verification

Some students may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. SFS is required to collect specific information to complete verification in addition to those items listed under Application Requirements. In almost all cases, students must submit an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Return Transcript to verify income or successfully upload tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Instructions for obtaining a Tax Return Transcript.

We recognize that some students and parents may not have filed their federal income tax return at the time their application is selected for verification. As a result, students may receive a preliminary award without the tax return transcript, but it is required in order to receive an official award later in the summer. The preliminary award is subject to change if the information on the tax return transcript is inconsistent with the federal income tax return.

 

Preliminary and Official Financial Aid Awards

Students who submit all application materials by the deadline will receive a preliminary award by the admission decision deadline. Students who submit all application materials after March 1 may receive their preliminary financial aid award prior to May 1, but may need to make their Admission decision without the benefit of the preliminary award. Please refer to the Financial Aid Basics section for crucial information on preliminary awards, types of aid, estimated cost of attendance, how to receive your financial aid, and more.

Preliminary awards are made without any consideration of other resources a student may receive, such as a tuition benefit from a parent's employer, Veteran's Administration benefits, or non-University scholarships.  After May 1, these resources will be included in the official award letter.  Since we meet 100% of need, the composition of the official award letter, including grant amounts, may differ from the preliminary award letter to reflect these additional resources.  In other words, the official award letter will reflect what the preliminary award letter would have looked like had we considered additional resources at the time we created it.