Financial Aid Application Process
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Southern Vermont College requires one application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify a student for financial aid. We strongly encourage each student and family to complete the FAFSA by March 1st. Please remember that this deadline applies every year of a student’s college career. The FAFSA online application becomes available each year on January 2nd.
PREPARE: Gather your records and financial information
- Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
- Your driver’s license number if you already have a driver’s license
- Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student: IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
- Foreign tax return and/or Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Keep these records! You may need to reference them again.
REQUEST: Personal Identification Number (PIN)
The electronic FAFSA process requires the student and at least one parent to obtain a PIN number in advance of filing the FAFSA. The PIN is free and available at www.pin.ed.gov. Your PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your Federal Student Aid records online. If you receive a PIN, you agree not to share it with anyone. Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, so you should never give your PIN to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to keep your PIN in a safe place.
APPLY NOW at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
COMPLETE FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
The fastest and most accurate way of submitting the FAFSA application is the online process available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The federal school code for Southern Vermont College is 003693. 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. If you have technical questions, FAFSA representatives are there to help at 800-433-3243. If you are starting a FAFSA for the first time, go to www.fafsa.gov and press “Start A New FAFSA.”
NEED HELP FILLING OUT THE FAFSA? Use these free tools:
- Read the “Help and Hints” located on the right side of any FAFSA on the web entry page. (The hints change depending on what question you’re on.)
- Enter “Need Help?” at the bottom of any FAFSA on the web entry page (in other words, any page where you’re entering information into the application).
- Chat (in English or Spanish) with live technical support staff by entering the “Help” icon with the big question mark at the top of any FAFSA on the web entry page.
- Contact us by e-mail or telephone at 802-447-6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REVIEW AND MAKE CORRECTIONS: Student Aid Report (SAR)
The Office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. You will receive your SAR by email or postal mail within three days to three weeks after you submit your FAFSA. Be sure to review your SAR to make sure you did not make a mistake. If you made a mistake, you can follow the instructions to make corrections to your FAFSA. You may be asked to provide more information so take your time reading the SAR and following the instructions.
FAFSA CALCULATION: EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (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. A family’s 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.
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. There are federal Parent PLUS loans and payment plans available to help families pay for education costs.
Financial Aid Award
A financial aid award is determined using the results of your application for financial aid through the FAFSA and the resources of the College. The award is provisional until the verification process can be performed using your federal tax return information if required.
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 and to resolve conflicting information.
If an application is selected for Verification, the Financial Aid Office is required by law to obtain tax information directly from the IRS either from the IRS Data Retrieval link on the FAFSA or from copies of the IRS Tax Return Transcript and W-2 Wage Statements for the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, if applicable, and the applicant’s parents, if applicable. Other data elements which must be verified are sent to you via the Verification Worksheet. The Verification Worksheet must be completed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. Failure to submit the requested documents will prevent an applicant from receiving disbursements of institutional and federal financial aid funds.
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 may 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 and the amount of aid awarded may change.
If your financial aid award and/ or eligibility for aid changes as a result of the Verification process, the Financial Aid Office will notify you by mailing a revised financial aid award letter or by sending you an e mail directing you to view your award in the student portal on the Financial Aid tab.
Federal regulations require Southern Vermont College to report to the Inspector General of the United States Department of Education or other law enforcement officials any information indicating that an applicant may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1500, telephone 1-800-MIS-USED.