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Financial Aid - How to Apply

Professional Assitance

Here's a helpful checklist of information that we have compiled for you to have ready for your Financial Aid application:

Have these required documents on hand:
Your Financial Information: You will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. This will include:

  • Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
  • Your (and your spouse's, if you are married) Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040Telefile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Your untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
  • Your bank statements
  • Your Social Security number, alien registration number, and/or driver's license number
  • Your business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment.

Your Parents´ Financial Information if you are a dependent student. Even if your parents are not planning to contribute towards your tuition, if you are classified as a dependent student, their income information will be required for completing the FAFSA. You are considered dependent if you are unmarried, under 24 years of age, have no financial dependents, are not an orphan or a ward of the court, nor a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Your parents' prior year Federal Income Tax Return as well as all the items identified above, for your parents (i.e. W-2 Forms, untaxed income records, bank statements, etc.)

Know how you are classified (dependent / independent)
An independent student is someone who can answer "yes" to one of the following questions:

  • Are you at least 24 years old?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have any children who receive more than half of their financial support from you?
  • Are you a ward of the court by the age of 18, or an orphan?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?

A dependent student is someone who answers "no" to every question above. In this case, a dependent student must provide his/her parents´ income information for the applicable year. Whether or not the student is living with his/her parents´ (legal guardian) answering "no" classifies the student as a dependent student.

Have your Personal Identification Number (PIN) handy
We strongly recommend that you complete your FAFSA online, and before you begin that process you may want to obtain a Federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to make the process a truly expeditious one.

You can apply for a PIN at the Department of Education's PIN site by selecting '"PIN Request and Information" followed by "Apply for PIN".

The PIN serves as your identifier to let you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. It also serves as your electronic signature so you should not give it to anyone. Once you are assigned a PIN, you also have the option of can going online and changing it to something that is easier for you to remember.

It should take 7-10 days for you to receive your PIN by mail. If you give an email address however, that time will reduce to 3 days.

If you are a dependent student, your parent/guardian will have to apply for a pin number also in order to have easy access to required documents, information and to be able to quickly apply electronic signatures to all documents that require a signature from them.

Now you can go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and begin!

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