How do I apply for financial assistance?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and some university financial assistance programs including the Direct (Student) Loan and Direct (Parent) PLUS Loan. The FAFSA is filed online at www.fafsa.gov. April 15 is the state of Indiana's deadline for state-funded programs such as the 21st Century Scholar Award, the Frank O'Bannon Indiana Higher Education Award and other awards. If you miss the April 15 deadline you may still file the FAFSA to be considered for federal programs. Don't forget to add our school code (001808) to the FAFSA!
Can I still complete the FAFSA if my parents or I have not yet filed taxes?
Yes, you may complete the FAFSA using estimated amounts in order to meet the April 15 deadline. However, you must update your FAFSA with the correct tax information after you have filed. We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on FAFSA on the Web to transfer your tax information. If you file taxes electronically, you should be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool approximately 3 weeks after filing. If you file taxes by mail, you should be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool approximately 6-8 weeks after filing.
What happens after I file the FAFSA?
USI Student Financial Assistance begins retrieving your FAFSA information and packaging aid according to federal/state guidelines mid-February/early-March for the new academic year. Then we will continue to retrieve and process new and updated FAFSAs each week throughout the rest of the academic year.
What are the general eligibility requirements?
Eligibility for most federal and state student aid is based on financial need and on several other factors. Each program has its own, more specific, eligibility requirements. View a list of general financial aid eligibility requirements online.
How will I be notified of what I qualify for?
Preliminary Financial Aid Notification Letters are mailed only to new freshmen or new transfer students in mid-March each year. Continuing students will receive Financial Aid Notification information through their myUSI. Read our notification process online for more information.
What is verification?
Verification is the process of evaluating the accuracy of your FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) selects a percentage of FAFSA applications for verification each year. USI also reserves the right to select additional students for verification. Additional information on verification is available online.
How do I know if I am selected for verification?
Applicants are initially notified of their selection for verification by ED on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Students are notified by USI primarily through the myUSI portal. Instructions for checking myUSI may be found online. In addition, the Office of Student Financial Assistance sends letters and emails beginning in March/April to remind students of their responsibility.
I was selected for verification. What does that mean for me?
Applicants selected for verification cannot receive Federal or State Financial Assistance until the verification process is completed. If you are selected for verification after aid has been disbursed, certain types of aid such as Pell Grant will be returned to ED until verification has been complete.
I was selected for verification. What do I need to submit?
Verification is customized by ED; therefore, not all students selected for verification will have the same requirements. You will need to check myUSI to see what requirements are specific to you. Once you are aware of your requirements you may visit the financial aid forms library to download and print any required worksheets.
May I submit a copy of my Federal Tax Return?
No, we CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT personal copies of Federal Tax Returns. If you have not already used the IRS Data Retrieval tool when initially filing the FAFSA or making corrections, go to www.fafsa.gov, log in to your FAFSA record, select 'Make FAFSA Corrections' and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you and/or your parent(s) are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into the FAFSA.
*NEW Acceptable Tax Documents* Due to the IRS Data Retrieval Outage, the Department of Education is temporarily allowing schools to accept signed personal copies of 2015 Tax Returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) in lieu of IRS Tax Return Transcripts for verification purposes, as long as conflicting information does not exist. (posted 6/23/17)More information about acceptable tax documentation is available online.