Aid Application Process
The most common types of federal student aid include grants, government loans and federal work-study. Federal student aid programs are regulated by the government and are usually the first resources students turn to when looking for financial aid.
Before a student or parent can be considered eligible for any government programs, including loans, they must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information provided on the FAFSA determines how much financial aid a student is eligible to receive.
Step 1: Submitting the FAFSA
Completing the FAFSA is the first and most important step in the financial aid process. The application must be completed every spring for the upcoming school year. The data submitted in the application determines a student’s eligibility for all of the federal student aid programs (and many state and institutional programs as well).
The fastest and most accurate way of submitting the FAFSA application is the online process from the Department of Education, available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For those without computer access, a limited number of applications are still available annually from any college financial aid office, many high schools guidance offices, or by telephone at 800-433-3243.
The electronic FAFSA process requires the student and at least one parent get a PIN number in advance of filing the FAFSA. The PIN is free and available at www.pin.ed.gov. The number will be mailed/e-mailed from the Federal Student Aid Programs seven to ten days after it is requested.
FAFSA Dates and Reminders:
Southern Vermont College strongly recommends that each student complete the FAFSA by March 1 each year. Please remember that this deadline applies every year of a student’s college career. The online process becomes available each year on January 2, but a PIN number can be requested at any time.
Step 2: The Student Aid Report (SAR) and PIN Number
Submission of the FAFSA will generate an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) and a Student Aid Report (SAR). The ISIR is the electronic document transmitted to each institution indicated on the FAFSA. If Southern Vermont College (003693) is listed on the FAFSA, the College will receive the ISIR electronically. The SAR is the paper document containing the same information as the ISIR and is mailed to the applicant. The ISIR/SAR contains data required to determine an applicant’s financial aid eligibility.
Step 3: Expected Family Contribution
Under federal student aid programs, parents are considered primarily responsible for their dependent students’ education to the best of their ability. This means that the student and/or their family will most often be responsible for paying some portion of their total education costs. This amount is called the Expected Family Contribution or EFC.
Eligibility for student aid is determined, in part, by the difference between what a student’s family can afford to pay and the cost of attending a specific college or university. The EFC is calculated by a standard formula for all schools to which a student might apply for aid, no matter what it costs to attend each school.
Step 4: Verification
The U.S. Department of Education automatically selects approximately one-third of all applications for Federal Student Aid for a review process called Verification. The college also has the authority to select other applications for verification to accurately determine financial aid eligibility.
If an application is selected for Verification, the Financial Aid Office is required by law to obtain copies of the federal tax forms and W-2 Wage & Tax Statements for the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, if applicable, and the applicant’s parents, if applicable. Failure to submit the requested documents will prevent an applicant from receiving disbursements if institutional and federal financial aid awards.
The Verification process must be completed within sixty (60) days of notification. If the Verification process is not completed in this time frame, an applicant will be considered ineligible for federal or institutional financial aid, including federal student loans. As a result of the Verification process the data reported on the FAFSA may need to be adjusted. In this case, the Financial Aid office will electronically submit corrections to the ISIR. If financial aid eligibility changes as a result of the Verification process, the Financial Aid Office will notify the applicant.
Other SVC Financial Aid Information
- Institutional Scholarships and Grants
- Federal Student Aid Programs
- SVC Financial Aid Forms
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Southern Vermont College Alternative Financing
- Resources/Helpful Links
- Financial Aid Refund Calculations
- Support from the Financial Aid Office
- Financing Your SVC Education
- Quick Facts
Jennifer Ufnar - Instructor, the Division of Science & Technology.
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