Your Guide To Federal Aid

Helpful FAFSA Tips and Insights To Assist You in
Getting the Most Out of Federal Financial Aid.

What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used for awarding federal student aid. All students must submit the FAFSA in order to receive financial aid. The application can be completed online or by paper application at

Filing early means potential for more money.

You can start filing for the FAFSA during your senior year of high school starting on October 1st. Most FAFSA is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. To be first in line, start your application in the first week of January. To complete it, you will need to use your W-2 from the previous year, then update your application as soon as your most current W-2 arrives.

If you are afraid of forgetting to update your application, you can wait on your W-2 form and then file your FAFSA. Most experts are convinced that the earlier you submit your FAFSA the more likely you are to get the most out of your Federal Aid.

File your FAFSA even if you have not been accepted yet.

You do not have to wait for your acceptance letter to come before you apply for FAFSA. Even if you are undecided on which school you are planning to attend, complete the FAFSA. You can file it before you apply for college; however, most schools have more scholarships available and early enrollment benefits when you apply to college early.

You can list up to 10 colleges on your FAFSA which is used to determine the Cost of Attendance (COA). To do this you will need to get the school codes of the places you are interested in; our FAFSA School Code is 002463.

Regardless of you parents income, file your FAFSA.

Regardless of your household income, you may still be able to receive some kind of federal financial aid. Also, if you are seeking scholarships, most schools require you to complete FAFSA and accept any federal aid offered through FAFSA in order to be eligible for their scholarships. By filing your FAFSA, even if you are not eligible for any federal aid, it will keep you from being disqualified from future financial aid if your financial situation changes.

Complete the application fully.

Be sure to complete all the information the FAFSA asks for. A great way to make this easier for you is to print off the application and look over all the information before you begin the online application so you know what information you will need to provide.

If your parents are undocumented, completing the application can be difficult. To move forward in the application you can enter all zeros (000-00-0000) for the parents social security and add supplementary information to explain your situation.

Complete all financial aid applications.

Although FAFSA is the #1 source for financial aid in the United States, it does not reflect all the financial aid you may have available to you. You may need to fill out other financial aid applications such as Sally Mae in order to cover all your education expenses.

Print out the form to keep for your records.

Once you have completed your application, print it out to keep in your records. You will want to have it handy in case you need to appeal the amount you originally receive or if you have to contact someone about your FAFSA.

Filing FAFSA online is about a 3 times faster response time.

When you complete your FAFSA as a paper submission you will not receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) for up to 4-6 weeks. The online application takes 1-2 weeks to receive to receive your SAR.

Receiving financial aid for James River College.

Through our partnership with Evangel University, you are able to have full access to Federal Financial Aid. When filing your FAFSA use the Evangel University School Code: 002463.

Also, see our scholarships.

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