Financial Aid FAQ
We have listed an FAQ and glossary of the most common questions and terms used in financial aid. We encourage you to use that resource. The Federal Government has an excellent help section as well at FAFSA. Click on the FAQs for key topics. Or use the Help section for detailed information about each aspect of the FAFSA.
Who should file for financial aid?
Everyone who plans to go to college should apply. In families, each college student must apply separately for financial aid. You must reapply each year.
Where do I get a FAFSA and how do I file it?
Apply on their website at FAFSA.
When do I file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
The FAFSA can be filled out any time after October 1.
Is there a deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
Students can complete the FAFSA up to June 30th of the current academic year.
Is there a deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for state aid?
The priority processing deadline for the state is March 1. Students may still submit an application for financial aid after March 1, however, scholarships, grants, lower-interest loans, and funds for campus jobs are limited and can sometimes be offered only to students who meet the March 1 state deadline. Funding is limited and students who meet the March 1 deadline are first in line for this funding.
What happens after I file?
The Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR). When you receive this, check it for errors. Correct any errors online. The Financial Aid Office will notify you of any further steps you may need to take. You may have to complete and submit one or more of the following:
- Institutional Verification Form (IVF) - all sections and signatures
- U.S. Federal Income Tax Return, signed - student and parent (if applicable)
Additional information may be required, based on your application status. Keep copies of all income materials used to prepare your FAFSA. Respond promptly to all requests for information from Davenport.
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes. However, once you have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may be able to have some of your information prefilled for you on the online FAFSA the next year. The FAFSA will have about 75% of the information on the form pre-entered from the year before. You need to complete the areas indicated, as well as any other area that has changed from what is indicated on the new application.
How is my financial aid eligibility determined?
Financial aid eligibility is based on the information provided by students and their families on the FAFSA application form. Costs of school and the income and assets of students and parents all factor into the determination of financial aid eligibility.
Once my aid eligibility is determined, how much financial aid can I expect to receive?
The financial situations of students can vary greatly, so we cannot provide set amounts for what students can expect to receive. There are several financial aid calculators on the web that can help students figure their estimated family contribution (EFC). The College Board EFC Calculator is one. Need-based financial aid awards for students will be determined by priority filing date, fund availability, and estimated family contribution. View additional resources here.
Why was I offered loans but no financial aid?
Federal financial aid is made up of loans, grants, and work subsidy programs. Loans offered to students and parents are subsidized in part by the federal government, making them more attractive than commercial loans. The ability of students to defer repayment until they leave school is also a feature not found in commercial loans. Therefore, student loans are considered aid.
Federal grant money is reserved for the students and families in most need. Middle to high-income families therefore might see little or no federal grant money in their packages.
What is the difference between merit-based and need-based aid?
Merit-based aid is determined based on academic criteria, such as student scores and activities. Financial need does not factor into the awarding of merit-based awards. Merit-based scholarships are an example of merit-based aid as they are based on academic excellence. Need-based aid is determined based on a student's financial need and consist of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.