When Should I Apply for Financial Aid?
The FAFSA for the 2017-2018 academic year (fall 2017, spring and summer 2018) is now available! WWW.FAFSA.GOV
Who can apply?
U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens are eligible to apply. Refer to the FAFSA application for clarification regarding eligible noncitizens. The application process is the same for traditional, non-traditional, dependent and independent applicants.
You must be an admitted SMSU degree-seeking student to receive an award notification from the Student Financial Aid Office. If you were enrolled in the PSEO program, you must still be admitted (through the Admission Office) to a new major, certification or licensure program in order to be eligible to receive aid.
How do I apply?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate year. We recommend that you print out the Pre-Application Worksheet . Use this worksheet to assist you in collecting information for the online FAFSA application.
If additional documents are required, the Financial Aid Office will send a letter detailing the information needed. Important details can be found at the following sites:
What am I applying for when I complete the FAFSA application?
When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid you are applying for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), Minnesota State Grant, Work Study, and Federal Direct and Perkins Loan funds.
Each institution has limited funding in the SEOG, Perkins Loan, and Work Study programs. The top priority deadline date for consideration of an award in these programs is March 1 of each year.
Helpful Hints for Completing the FAFSA
-To prevent errors we recommend using the IRS data retrieval tool to fill in your tax information on the FAFSA. You will have the ability to link to the IRS directly from your FAFSA application.
-Be sure to report your name on the FAFSA exactly as it appears on your social security card. The federal processor will be comparing your FAFSA information to the Social Security Administration database and discrepancies could cause a problem.
-The income information you enter on the FAFSA should be taken directly from completed federal income tax returns. Use actual data, not estimates, if possible. For the 2017-2018 application year, use federal income tax returns from 2015. (2015 taxes were also used for the 2016-2017 FAFSA)
-In Step 6 of the FAFSA, list "Southwest Minnesota State University", Title IV school code "002375".
-If you are planning to apply for aid as a married, independent student, do not complete the FAFSA until after you are married.
-If you or your parents filed a joint federal income tax return, but are now separated, divorced or widowed, you may want to contact the Student Financial Aid Office for help with completing the FAFSA.
-Students who had work study earnings should report this amount on Worksheet C of the FAFSA. (Regular payroll earnings should NOT be included on Worksheet C).
What happens after I have applied?
Within one week after submitting your FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail from the federal processor with a website link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you do not provide an e-mail address to the federal processor, you will receive a paper SAR in the mail. Review the SAR to make sure that everything is correct as printed. If all the information is correct, keep the SAR for your records. If not, corrections should be submitted to the federal processor.
In the event that your Social Security number is incorrect, we recommend that you contact the Student Financial Aid Office for assistance.
If your SAR indicates that it has been rejected or that more information is needed before further processing can occur, please follow the instructions listed on the SAR, or contact the SMSU Financial Aid Office for assistance.
The SMSU Financial Aid Office will receive an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) as a result of your FAFSA application.
If additional documents are required, the Financial Aid Office will send you a letter detailing the information needed.
To learn more about each type of funding, click here. We wish to assure you that all of the information you provide will be held in strict confidence and will only be used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.