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Getting Started

 

The MOST IMPORTANT process in applying for financial aid is filing the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) application each year. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov -- the fastest and most accurate way to apply. At FSU, the FAFSA is the only application required for Federal, State, or Institutional grants, work-study or loans for Fall and Spring term financial aid.

Note -- be sure to go to www.fafsa.ed.gov - that is the official, federal, FREE web site for the FAFSA. There are look-alike sites that request payment to complete the FAFSA -- payment is not part of completing the FAFSA - it is a FREE application. If you have questions about filing the FAFSA, contact our financial aid staff for free assistance (email to :ofacs@admin.fsu.edu or call 850-644-0539 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The FAFSA FSU school code is 001489.



Eligibility:
In order to be eligible for any form of federal, state, or institutional financial aid, you must fulfill the following requirements:
1. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (see http://studentaid.ed.gov for information on who qualifies as an eligible non-citizen)
2. You must have a valid social security number.
3. You must be admitted into a degree-seeking program. You may apply for aid before you are admitted but you must be admitted before aid can be awarded or disbursed to you.
4. If you are a male of at least 18 years of age, you must be registered with selective service.
5. To retain eligibility you must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
6. To receive aid at FSU, you must be enrolled at least 1/2 time (6 credit hours).
Apply early for...
  • Financial Aid - The first day that you can submit the FAFSA for the new academic year is January 1.

    You must apply for aid every year. Because some types of aid are limited in funding, we recommend that all students complete the application as early as possible each year. Estimated tax data is acceptable. Just be as accurate as possible in the estimation. Once taxes are completed, corrections to the FAFSA can be made through the online process.

  • Admission - FSU cannot provide you with an estimated award offer until you are admitted. You can apply for financial aid before you are admitted, but we cannot tell you what you are eligible for until you are admitted.
Apply online. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to note that the FSU school code is 001489.

Keep up with your application for aid
  • Once your FAFSA is processed by the government, you will have access to a Student Aid Report (SAR), either through an online summary of the online application process, or through a printed document mailed to you if you apply using paper FAFSA. It's important that you check your SAR for accuracy, and respond to any comments or notices posted by the federal processor on the Student Aid Report. The Federal Processor sometimes needs additional data before the application can be considered complete – comments on the Student Aid Report will guide you though the process.
  • FSU will notify you if any additional documents are required for completion of your financial aid application by posting requirements to the Document tab on your Financial Aid Student Toolkit (available online through login to Blackboard/Secure Apps). Keep copies of any documents that you submit. Make sure that the student’s name and FSUSN are on the top corner of all documents submitted.
  • The FSU Office of Financial Aid will provide you with online access to your financial aid file. To monitor the progress of your financial aid, you can log in to your Financial Aid Student Toolkit (see View Status link)

Financial Need/Award Of Need Based Aid


The data provided by you to the federal processor on the FAFSA form is put through a calculation established by the federal government. This calculation establishes an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your eligibility for need based aid is calculated by subtracting your EFC, along with any outside resources (i.e. scholarships, tuition waivers, agency payments, fellowships, etc.) from your Cost of Attendance(COA). This gives the financial aid office your financial need at FSU.

  COA
- EFC
- other resources

FINANCIAL NEED




If your EFC and other resources are less than the COA, then you may have financial need, and every effort is made to meet that need with a package that may include grants, work-study, and subsidized loans. APPLY EARLY - OTHERWISE YOU MAY FIND THAT THE ONLY FUNDS AVAILABLE ARE FROM LOAN PROGRAMS.


The Award Notification

Once FSU has your valid FAFSA data and you have been officially admitted to the university, we will notify you of your eligibility for aid (generally starting in late March of each year) by posting an estimated award offer on your Financial Aid Student Toolkit. This notification will specify all the aid for which you are eligible. Read the Terms and Conditions, as they will include information on any conditions that must be met to receive the award as well as how to accept, reduce or decline an award. If you are awarded a loan, you have the right to decide if you want to accept the loan, and if so, how much you want to borrow. You may accept a loan in full, or refuse in full, or accept an amount less than the amount offered.

If you have applied for scholarships or state financial aid programs, we may not be aware of those awards until you or the agency notify us. If you know of additional awards that you will be receiving (awarded, not applied for), you will need to note such resources on the Financial Aid Student Toolkit. If additional awards are not reported and recalculated in your financial aid eligibility, you may later have to repay federal, state or institutional aid awarded and disbursed to you.

The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to revise awards based on new information (i.e. outside resources, data corrections due to the verification process, change in residency, etc.) If your eligibility changes, a new award notification will posted on your Financial Aid Student Toolkit.

Your actual receipt of payment will depend on your continued eligibility and your enrollment in the required number of hours required for each award program.

last updated Feb 24, 2011