Customer Support Center
Financial Aid Process
The financial aid process is a series of steps you and/or your parents take to determine if you are eligible for any financial assistance for college. You will take the following steps during this process:
- Determine your need.
- Subtract your savings, expected earnings and gifts from the total cost of attendance to find out how much financial aid you need.
- Apply for a personal identification number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.govOpens a new window.
- Students and parents each need their own PIN.
- Use your PIN to sign, make changes to and check the status of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to electronically sign for federal loans.
- Complete the FAFSA.
- The FAFSA is a free form that may be completed without professional assistance via the paper or electronic form provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit www.fafsa.govOpens a new window for an online application or call (800) 4-FED-AID, or (800) 433-3243, for a paper form.
- Results of this form are used to determine federal financial aid, as well as many types of state and institutional aid.
- Receive your results.
- You'll receive a student aid report (SAR) a few weeks after you file the FAFSA. Follow instructions to make changes or verify information.
- Each school you named on your FAFSA will receive the same report and use it to create an award letter that explains the financial assistance you may qualify for.
- Accept your awards from the school you plan to attend.
- Accept all scholarships and grants — they do not need to be repaid, so they're like free money.
- Decide whether to accept any work-study or federal loans offered. Remember, you don't need to accept full loan amounts if you can get by with less.
- Follow instructions for signing and returning any forms.
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