How to Apply for Financial Aid: 2018-2019 Returning Undergraduates

FALL 2018 APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 1, 2018

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.  Please note that there are a few differences from last year's Profile to this year's, so please refer to our Guide to the Profile for details. 

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.  Review our Guide to the CSS/PROFILE page for changes made to the application process for this year.

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.

 

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

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:

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

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. However, students will not be awarded more or "better" aid based on the date they apply, so long as they meet the March 1 deadline. In general, returning undergraduate financial aid awards are produced starting in June each year, once we have completed awarding for entering and transfer students.

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. In these cases, students are strongly encouraged to submit their required additional documents and forms by our secure web upload feature, directly from their SIS account.  Click "more" in your To Do List, then click on the individual To Do List item name to access the web upload feature.  You must upload the document as a .pdf to use this feature. Do not send personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, by email or by email attachment.
 
Two common application errors that result in requests additional information include:
  • information was omitted that should have been reported
  • discrepancies exist between information reported on the two applications

Delays in submitting requested information may result in a delay in providing an award. Students who are unable to submit the application requirements should contact us as soon as possible.

 

Verification

Some students may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. SFS is required to collect specific information to complete verification. 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.

 

Official Financial Aid Awards

Students who submit all application materials by the deadline and respond to any additional request for information in a timely manner will receive a notification of their official financial aid award during the summer. Returning students do not receive preliminary awards. Please refer to the Financial Aid Basics section for crucial information on awards, including types of aid, estimated cost of attendance, how to receive your financial aid, and more.