About the FAFSA


FAFSA on the WebThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed and submitted online, using a Federal Student Aid PIN to sign the application electronically. If you are a dependent student, your parent must also sign the application. Students and parents can apply for a ID at www.pin.ed.gov. After obtaining your ID(s), complete your application online by using FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.gov. Submitting the web version of the FAFSA can help eliminate errors and saves mailing and processing time. 

When you complete your FAFSA online, be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. With this tool, you can use the tax return that you have filed with the IRS to fill out parts of your FAFSA automatically. It helps you avoid mistakes, and it can make the entire application process easier. You can use it when you initially file your FAFSA, or you can use it when you make an update or correction to the FAFSA.

You may use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet as a tool to assist you in completing FAFSA on the Web. The worksheet is available at www.fafsa.gov for you to print. Complete the worksheet prior to entering your information online. Do not mail the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to the Office of Financial Aid or to the federal processor.

Before transmitting your application, review your answers and make any necessary corrections. Be sure to provide the appropriate signature(s) on your FAFSA. If you do not wish to sign the application electronically with your ID, you can print a paper signature page from FAFSA on the Web, sign it and mail it to the address provided.

Contact Customer Service at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for assistance with FAFSA on the Web.

After your online FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you provide an email address on your FAFSA, electronic access to your SAR will be emailed to you. If you do not provide an email address, you will receive a SAR by mail. You should carefully review this document since it contains the information used to determine your financial aid eligibility. Make any needed corrections on FAFSA on the Web. Retain the SAR for your records if all the information is correct.

If you decide to submit the paper version of the FAFSA, you can download a PDF version of the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm. The USC Aiken Office of Financial Aid does not maintain a supply of paper FAFSAs. Complete the application and mail it to the address provided on the FAFSA. The completed FAFSA should not be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. If you provide an email address on your FAFSA, your SAR will be sent by email within 3-5 days after your application is received and processed. If you do not provide an email address, your SAR will be mailed to you within three weeks.

Your FSA ID can be used to check the status of your submitted application and review the results when your FAFSA has been processed, correct your FAFSA information, request a duplicate SAR, reapply for financial aid, view information about federal loans and grants you have received and conduct other important business with the U.S. Department of Education.

Freshmen and transfer students should apply for admission as early as possible and do not have to wait until they have been fully accepted in order to apply for financial aid. However, an official award offer cannot be made until your admission has been finalized.