Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid

In an effort to make Federal Financial Aid more accessible to students across the United States, the federal government has made the application process easier and more straightforward. Below you will find a basic guide to applying for financial aid. If you need more information or assistance with the application process, use the official FAFSA website or contact the University of San Francisco financial aid office.

Step 1: Gather the documents you will need:
•    Your Social Security number
•    Your driver’s license or state ID (if any)
•    Your most recent W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
•    Your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) most recent Federal Income Tax Return (or your Foreign Tax Return)
•    Your most recent untaxed income records
•    Veterans benefits records
•    Child support received
•    Worker’s compensation
•    Current bank statements
•    Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
•    Alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

Step 2: Obtain a PIN
The next step is to obtain a Personal Identification Number or PIN here: www.pin.ed.gov. You will use this PIN code each year to access your Federal Student Aid records online and to apply for Financial Aid.

Important: Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, so you should never give your PIN to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to record and keep your PIN in a safe place.

Step 3: Fill out the FAFSA
In order to determine your eligibility, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility is determined by your financial situation. Almost every student is eligible for some form of financial aid, regardless of income or circumstances, provided that you:
•    Are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an eligible non-citizen
•    Have a valid Social Security Number
•    Have a high school diploma or GED
•    Are registered with the U.S. Selective Service (if you are a male aged 18-25)
•    Complete a FAFSA promising to use any federal aid for educational purposes
•    Do not owe refunds on any federal student grants
•    Are not in default on any student loans
•    Have not been found guilty of the sale or possession of illegal drugs during a period in which federal aid was being received

Important: All students should check with their school’s financial aid office to determine their exact FAFSA deadlines and requirements.

Step 4: Your Student Aid Report
After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) with all of the financial information you provided. Review this document carefully and make any necessary corrections.
The SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution, which is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid during one school year. Your school will receive an electronic copy of the SAR and use this information to decide how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. If you are selected for the verification process, please check your USFConnect Student Self Service to find and complete any documents you may be required to submit.

Step 5: Determine Your Options
Congratulations, you have made it through the Financial Aid Application process. It will take about four business days after your FAFSA submission before it is received by USF. Shortly after your FAFSA is received, you will get an award offer email notification informing you that your award is ready to view on USFConnect Student Self Service. At this point in the process you can choose how much money you would like to accept and/or explore other funding options.

Important: Keep track of all deadlines and required paperwork. If you have any questions contact your financial aid advisor. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that their financial aid is sufficient to cover all billed charges. Financial Aid is not necessarily intended to cover the cost of attending school entirely, but to aid the student in paying for tuition, fees, books, living expenses, travel, and any other educational expenses.

Disbursement
Financial Aid is scheduled to be disbursed to your USF account about a week after the beginning of the semester. Aid will only be disbursed if you have fulfilled all requirements, including enrollment of half-time or more, entrance loan counseling and promissory notes. Students with any unsatisfied financial aid requirements will not have financial aid credited towards their billed charges, and therefore may be subject to administrative holds or cancellation of classes for non-payment.

Important Loan Information
As with any loan, make sure you fully understand the interest rates, repayment terms, and tax implications. Find out if interest charges are variable or fixed, if the loan has forgiveness or deferment provisions, if you can consolidate the loan with other loans, and if the loan carries prepayment penalties.

Borrow only what you need. Remember that loans must be repaid even if you do not finish school. Your education is a substantial investment. It is one of the most important decisions you can make for your future. Take time to learn all of your financial aid options before you make any decision.

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