How to Apply for Financial Aid: BIS Applicants




Students who wish to be considered for all types of need-based state and institutional financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year must apply with both the CSS/Profile and the FAFSA by the application deadline above. 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 billing due date should also submit all supporting documents by the application deadline. 

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 the application deadline may still apply for federal financial aid (Federal Direct Loans and, if they qualify, a Pell Grant). 

Student need is met through scholarships, grants, work-study and need-based loans. Scholarship and grant funding is dependent on the generosity of donors. Your financial aid application submission authorizes the University to disclose 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 will have the opportunity to ‘opt out’ of this disclosure as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).



The 2018-2019 FAFSA and PROFILE ask for income and tax information from the 2016 tax year.  Because most all tax filers have filed their 2016 tax year forms, we recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool online to populate relevant information on the FAFSA.  Click here for instructions on using the Data Retrieval Tool.



Step 1: Required Applications

The following documents are required by May 15 (Fall admission) or November 1 (Spring admission) for a student to be considered for all forms of need-based federal and institutional financial aid:


Step 2: Required Documents

The following documents are required of all applicants, and must also be submitted by May 15 (Fall admission) or November 1 (Spring admission) if the student wishes to receive a preliminary award prior to the billing due date. Students who submit these requirements after the deadline still be considered for all forms of aid, but are not guaranteed a preliminary award.

* 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) 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 (found in their SIS Student Center after they have applied for admission).  We do not recommend you use email to send documents that contain personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers.



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 May 15 (Fall admission) or November 1 (Spring admission). 

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 the application deadline should contact our office immediately.  You can reach us at (434) 982-6000.



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 or using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

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 billing due date. Students who submit all application materials after the application deadline 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.