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Financial Aid

Student doing homework in the student lounge.How to Apply

Step 1: Apply for Aid

Applying for federal student aid is quicker and easier than ever. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAsm) at www.fafsa.gov. Follow these easy steps to simplify the process of applying for federal student aid.

  1. Gather the documents needed to apply. For example, you'll need
    • income tax returns (yours and most likely your parents), W-2 forms, and other records of income, and
    • identification documents (social security cards, drivers licenses).
    • Get the complete list of documents
  2. Apply online at FAFSA on the WebSM. Submit a FAFSA.
    • The FAFSA is used to apply for federal financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans).
    • Many colleges, universities, and career schools use your FAFSA information to award state and college aid.
    • The process is free. Never pay to apply for federal financial aid.
    • You'll need a PIN to "sign" your online FAFSA, make corrections to the application, and more. If you are a dependent student, your parent will need one too. You can get your PIN before you begin or as you complete the FAFSA — it's up to you. Get a PIN now!
    • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically transfer your IRS tax return amounts needed to complete or correct your FAFSA. Watch this tutorial to see how.
    • Note: Complete the FAFSA each year, starting on January 1. Be sure you meet application deadlines.
    • For deadlines, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  3. Get free information and help from
    • your school counselor,
    • the financial aid office at the college, university, or career school you plan to attend, or
    • the U.S. Department of Education at www.fafsa.gov (online chat is also available), or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Additional help completing the FAFSA:

Step 2: What's Next?

After You Submit the FAFSA
We process your FAFSA and the results are sent electronically to the schools you listed on your application, and we send you a Student Aid Report (SAR).

The Student Aid Report (SAR)
Your SAR summarizes all the information you provided on your FAFSA. It must be correct before you can receive federal aid. Read the information below to find out how and when you will receive your SAR, and what to do with it once you receive it.

How and when you will receive your SAR: Generally, it takes less time to process and send the SAR to you when you submit the FAFSA online and provide a valid e-mail address. If we have your valid e-mail address, you'll get your SAR e-mail in three to five days. This e-mail contains a secure link to your SAR online. If you don't provide a valid e-mail address, it takes about seven to 10 days before you'll receive your SAR by postal mail.

If you submit a paper FAFSA, you'll receive your SAR by e-mail within 2 weeks, or 3 weeks if you do not provide an e-mail address.

Note: If you have a PIN and your FAFSA has been processed, you can login at www.fafsa.gov to view SAR information regardless of whether you filed the online or paper FAFSA or provided an e-mail address or not.

What to do with your SAR: When you get your SAR, review it for accuracy. A complete, correct SAR will contain your

If you need to make corrections to your SAR, you can
  • make them online using your PIN at www.fafsa.gov.
  • check with your school; the school might be able to make them for you electronically.
If you received a paper SAR, make any necessary corrections on that SAR and mail it to the address on the form for processing. See Correcting Your FAFSA.

Step 3: Follow Up on Your FAFSA

Your application will be processed and you will receive an email message with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you did not provide an email address, you will receive your SAR by mail. You should review your SAR for any necessary corrections or updates. If you do not hear from us within three weeks go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and select "Check the Status of a Submitted FAFSA."

Step 4: Submit Additional Information to the RSU Office of Financial Aid

Once the RSU Office of Financial Aid has received your SAR, we will send you a letter requesting any additional information that may be required to complete your financial aid file. Some items we may request include:

  1. IRS tax transcript and W-2’s.
    1. Order a Tax Return Transcript online:
      • visit www.irs.gov
      • click on “Order a Return or Account Transcript”  
      • select “Order a Transcript"
      • complete the request
    2. Order a Tax Return Transcript via telephone:
      • call 1-800-908-9946.
  2. Verification of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), child support received or paid
  3. 2012-2013 Verification Form

Step 5: Financial Aid Awards

After you have provided all the necessary information to the RSU Office of Financial Aid, your file will be given to a financial aid counselor. Your financial aid award will be based on the credit hours in which you are enrolled and your eligibility, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education (based on the information you provided on the FAFSA.)

When your file is complete and your awards have been determined, you will be sent an award letter if it is your first time to attend. Your financial aid award letter may list several types of aid. You may accept all of the aid awarded to you, part of it, or none of the aid. However, you must sign and return the award letter within two weeks, indicating your decision to accept or reject the awards. If you are a returning student you will be notified via email to go on the Hillcat Hub to view and accept your awards.

Step 6: Be Aware of Deadlines

Students must adhere to the following deadlines to apply for financial aid at RSU:

  1. January 1: Complete your FAFSA as soon after this date as possible to be considered for all financial aid programs.
  2. March 1: Priority date for submitting a scholarship application.
  3. June 1: Any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid office must be submitted to be eligible for September disbursement of funds.

Need Help Applying?

Get assistance in completing the FAFSA or to ask any questions.

Toll-Free Help Line
between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-800-730-8913 (TTY) for the hearing impaired

RSU Office of Financial Aid
between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
918-343-7553 or 1-800-256-7511