How to Apply for Financial Aid: First-Year Applicants for 2019-20

FALL 2020 APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 1, 2019

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 want to apply for all types of need-based state and institutional financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year must complete and submit the 2019-2020 CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (Profile) and 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1, 2019. This deadline impacts financial aid eligibility for the entire academic year, including January Term and Summer Session. In addition, students who want a preliminary financial aid award before the May 1 admission commitment date should also send all supporting documents by March 1. Please refer to our Guide to the Profile for help in completing this application.

Students who cannot meet the application deadline for some reason should contact Student Financial Services well before the deadline.  You can reach us at (434) 982-6000. 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).

UVA meets student need with scholarships, grants, work-study and need-based loans. Generous donors provide much of the scholarship and grant funding. Your financial aid application submission authorizes the University to show your name, demographic information and relevant award amount(s) to University Advancement and applicable donors(s). If you receive a donor-funded grant or scholarship, you can ‘opt out’ of this disclosure as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

 

PREPARING TO APPLY

The 2019-2020 Profile and 2019-2020 FAFSA, both available starting October 1, 2018 ask for income and tax information from 2017. Most families, by October 1, 2018, should have all materials ready to complete the two applications.

After you submit the applications you can update your FAFSA online, but not the Profile. Please contact SFS if you need to update information on your Profile.  Most undergraduates 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: We assume that any tax documents you may supply are the same ones you sent to the IRS. We use tax return data to make corrections to the FAFSA and the Profile.

 

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Step 1: Required Applications

If you want to be considered for all forms of need-based financial aid, we require the following documents by March 1.

 

Priority Dates:

Although March 1, 2019, is the deadline for submitting the FAFSA and Profile, please note the priority dates below for early action and regular decision applicants who want to receive their preliminary financial aid awards sooner.

Early action applicants should complete and submit the FAFSA and Profile, along with any other required documents, by December 1, 2018, in order to receive a preliminary financial aid award by the early action admission decision release date of February 1, 2019.

Regular decision applicants should complete and submit the FAFSA and Profile, along with any other required documents, by February 1, 2019, in order to receive a preliminary financial aid award by the regular decision admission decision release date of April 1, 2019.

 

Step 2: Required Additional Documents

Some applicants will be required to submit additional documents, some of which are listed below as examples. Students will receive direct requests for documents other than the FAFSA and Profile.  Please do not submit any additional documents until or unless you are asked to do so.

  • Student Federal Tax Return and Schedules for 2017
  • Student W2 for 2017
  • Parent Federal Tax Return and Schedules for 2017*
  • Parent W2 for 2017*
* Applicants who are 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.

Please make sure you label the documents with the student's full legal name and College Board Financial Aid ID number.

Please submit documents only by the means indicated in requests sent by Student Financial Services or the College Board.  Instructions will be provided.

We will still consider students for all forms of aid if they submit these additional documents after March 1, 2019, but in such cases we cannot guarantee a preliminary award by May 1. 

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

SFS does not award merit-based financial aid.  If you want to get a sense for what types and amount of need-based financial 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 updated each fall.  These estimators may guide you in your decisions, but your specific financial aid award will be based upon the materials you provide to SFS, not based on what you input to the estimators.

We review applications in the order of completion; the earlier a student submits all application requirements, the earlier that student’s application is reviewed. Because the University meets 100% of a student's demonstrated need, we do not award students more or "better" financial aid based on the date they apply, provided that both the PROFILE and the FAFSA were submitted by March 1. 

In some cases, additional documents and forms may be required before the application review is completed and an award is 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 required information may result in a delay in providing an award.

 

Verification

Some students may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. For these students, SFS collects 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.

For a student selected for verification, SFS can usually create a preliminary award without the tax return transcript, but it is required in order to receive an official award later in the summer. If the information on the tax return transcript is inconsistent with the federal income tax return, we may change the preliminary award as a result..

 

Preliminary and Official Financial Aid Awards

Students who submit all application materials by the March 1 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.

We create the preliminary award 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,we will include these resources in the official award letter.  Since we meet 100% of need, the award, 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.