Federal Aid in 4 Steps

by South University 1 May 2013

The thought of applying for federal student aid--be it loans, grants or scholarships--can be intimidating, but we're here to help! Along with cash payments, employer partnerships, military aid and scholarships, federal aid is one of the many means students may utilize to help finance their education at South University. Here's how you can apply for federal aid in four simple steps.

Calculating a Financial Plan

Step 1: Apply for a PIN

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). In the case of a forgotten or compromised number, request a replacement. It’s important to remember this number for future filing purposes. (Find out what to do if you forgot your PIN.)

Step 2: Gather Relevant Documents

To fill out the FAFSA, you should have certain information on hand. FAFSA will ask about the following:

  • - Your identity (including your social security number)
  • - Your savings and earnings
  • - Your family
  • - Your educational plans and status
  • - Your tax return numbers
  • - Our Federal School Code (013039)

If you are a dependent, the above information will also be needed for your parents. (Check your dependency status here.)

Step 3: Complete Your FAFSA

You’ll need to complete the FAFSA every year you are in school. For the 2013-14 school year, you can apply at www.fafsa.ed.gov until June 30, 2014. (Don't miss the deadline!) The site offers a fast and easy way of entering your tax return information by using the secure IRS Data Retrieval Tool that imports information from the IRS database into your application. The website also offers live, online help and instant access to estimates of how much federal aid you may receive. For additional assistance, contact your Student Finance Counselor.

Step 4: Discuss Your Financial Plan

We typically receive your FAFSA information within a few weeks of you completing the online application. Once we review your information and determine your eligibility for aid, you will be informed of the grants, scholarships and loans for which you qualify. Your Student Finance Counselor will work closely with you to establish your financial plan, taking into account your federal aid as well as any other means you are using to finance your education.

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Fast Facts on FAFSA

by South University 15 March 2011

At first glance, the prospect of filling out your FAFSA can be a daunting one. How do you make sure you have all the correct documentation and information together? When should you file? Has anything changed since you filed last year?

The answer to the last question is a resounding “Yes!” but these changes are most definitely for the better. The FAFSA website has been redesigned for greater ease of use, making the whole process a lot less painful.

Here are some quick tips for making your FAFSA filing as smooth as possible.

1) Gather Your Materials. You will need your Federal Income Tax Return (it’s best to wait until you’ve filed your taxes before completing your FAFSA), your 2010 W-2’s, and a secure PIN to use on the FAFSA website. If you don’t already have a PIN, you can request one here. You will also need the school’s unique code. If you’re a student at South University, you can find this information in the Campus Common on the Financial Aid Today page.

Note for dependent students: You will also need to include parent income and household information. A parent should sign your FAFSA with their own unique PIN.

2) File Your FAFSA Online. You can file your FAFSA entirely online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once you have all the materials mentioned above in step one, visit the website and click the “Start Here” button to begin. The form will guide you through each step of the process.

3) Check Your Status. Information on how to check your FAFSA status, correct any mistakes you may have made, and other popular questions are answered in the Help section of the FAFSA website.

Students who have any additional questions regarding filing their FAFSA can check with their Student Finance Counselor, whose contact info can be found under “My Contacts” on the home page of the Campus Common.