Applying for Financial Aid
The FAFSA must be completed each year. Our recommended deadline is MARCH 15. Complete the FAFSA between January 1 and May 1 (this date is for the initial submission of the FAFSA) to be considered for federal and state aid (the March 15 deadline is to be considered for all types of aid - federal, state, and institutional aid). Submitting the FAFSA by May 1 will meet the deadline for the PA State Grant. If you submit the FAFSA after May 1, you will still qualify for federal aid (including student loans), but will not qualify for the PA State Grant since your application will be considered late. It is our recommendation to complete the FAFSA no later than May 1. This deadline is for the initial submission of the FAFSA, not subsequent paperwork. You can submit the FAFSA with estimates of your tax information if you have not yet completed them, then update the FAFSA with the correct information once the taxes are completed.
We recommend that when you complete the FAFSA online, you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in order to provide your income information. There will be a series of questions to determine if you can use the IRS Data Retrieval. One of the questions asks if you have completed your taxes recently, which means within the last 2-3 weeks. If you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval because you have filed your taxes too recently, then you can submit the FAFSA and then go back and make corrections using the IRS Data Retrival once enough time has passed. If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (or if you did use it, but made changes to the information once it was transferred), and we require information about your taxes, you will have to provide a IRS Tax Return Transcript (not a regular tax return) to our office.
General rule of thumb is every time you file your taxes, you file your FAFSA. If a student completed the FAFSA in the preceding year, a Renewal FAFSA may be completed. The Renewal FAFSA will allow the student to update current information without completing the entire FAFSA over (things like his/her name, SSN, address, and date of birth will be pre-populated).
The FAFSA is no longer available in paper form from HS Guidance Offices or College Financial Aid Offices. It must be completed online. If you prefer the paper form, you may call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and request a paper form be mailed to you or you may download the 2011-2012 FAFSA from the Federal Student Aid’s website.
If you are filling out the FAFSA on the Web, we recommend you use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (available in our Financial Aid Forms Center) or you can pick one up in the Office of Financial Aid. This form is used to help complete the FAFSA online. Do NOT mail to the processor.
Even if the student has not been accepted by the schools he/she has applied to and/or has not made a final decision of where to attend, we recommend you fill out the FAFSA anyway and include all schools (up to 10 on the FAFSA on the Web) the student is considering. In order to list the schools, you may need their Federal School Code. If you are unsure of this code, please refer to the Federal School Code Search webpage.
A Spanish version of the FAFSA is available online.
For financial aid for the 2014-2015 academic year, our recommended deadline to be considered for all types of aid is
March 15, 2014
- Our FAFSA Federal School Code is 003325
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
To complete the FAFSA online, the student and one parent (if the student is dependent) need a PIN (personal identification number) to electronically sign the FAFSA.This can be obtained by applying online at http://www.pin.ed.gov/. The PIN remains valid as long as a new FAFSA is completed within 18 months of the last one. If you have an active PIN but do not remember it, you need to go to http://www.pin.ed.gov/ and select “Request a Duplicate PIN.
|Application Type||Email Address Provided|
on the FAFSA
|Processing Time||Notification method of|
Student Aid Report (SAR)
|Online||Yes||3 - 5 business days||electronically via email|
|Online||No||1 - 2 weeks||US Postal Service|
|Paper||Yes||3 - 4 weeks||electronically via email|
|Paper||No||4 - 6 weeks||US Postal Service|
Once you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) - paper or via email, review all information to be sure it is accurate. If corrections need to be made, you can do them through the paper SAR by mailing it in with the corrections on it or make corrections online using your PIN.
* The email comes from the U.S. Department of Education, so depending on how
strong your email filter is, you may have to check your Bulk/Junk mail folder for the email.
** Please note - the times above are approximate times and may be longer for some individuals