Apply for Financial Aid
Feeling challenged about paying for college? You're not alone.
We understand, and that is why Stevenson University is committed to helping students cover their college costs--not just for the first year, but for their entire time at Stevenson. To help you through the process of applying for grants, scholarships, work-study or loans, we've created this step-by-step guide.
Before You Apply for Financial Aid
There are a number of steps required to apply for financial aid. We’ve created a few videos to help take you through the process.
Research Your Financing Options
Students rely on funding from a number of sources to help finance their educations:
- Scholarships and grants are a type of gift aid awarded by the University based upon academic merit, special ability, or financial need. Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid.
- Loans are funding options that come from an outside source. Loans must be repaid after graduation.
- Whatever financing options you choose, be mindful of the varying terms and conditions associated with the various awards and loans described on this and other websites from which you may obtain information.
- Stevenson's Net Price Calculator is a great resource for helping families plan ahead. You can use it to estimate the cost of an SU education and the aid for which you may be eligible.
Determine if You Are an Independent or Dependent Student
An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse.
Dependent students must include their parents'/guardians' information when filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you've never filed a FAFSA before and would like an estimate of your expected family contribution, visit the federal government's FAFSA Forecaster.
Be Mindful of Important Deadlines
SU requires students to file the FAFSA. The FAFSA uses tax information from the student's family to determine what each family can contribute to the student's education. The FAFSA is a critical tool in the financial aid process, and we encourage all applicants and current students, regardless of means, to submit the FAFSA.
New freshmen entering fall term February 15 New transfer students entering fall term October 15 New undergraduates entering winter, spring, or summer terms July 1 until your Admission Application Deadline Current undergraduate students Renew annually, January 1 - May 1 New graduate students entering fall term January 1 - March 1 Current graduate students Renew annually, January 1 - May 1
Apply for Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
Apply for your Federal Student Aid ID, if you don't already have one. You will need your FSA ID to sign your FAFSA electronically. If you cannot remember your FSA ID or need to get a FSA ID, you may do so at https://fsaid.ed.gov/. Parents should also have a FSA ID if you meet the dependent student definition as described on the FAFSA.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
There are a lot of questions you’ll need to answer when filling out your FAFSA. Check out our videos for a better understanding of the process.
File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as early as January 1 prior to the academic year in which you plan to enroll. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2015, you can submit your FAFSA starting January 2015.
- While preferred, you do not need to complete your income tax forms before you submit the FAFSA. Estimates are acceptable. Once you complete your federal income tax returns, you can correct FAFSA entries online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Stevenson University's school code is 002107. If you previously attended another college or university, remember to update your school code.
FAFSA Filing Deadlines
- Complete the FAFSA between January 1 and February 15 to maximize your chances of consideration of funds from all sources. If you miss the February 15th priority deadline, still apply for available funds.
- Transfer Students: Transfer applicants for fall enrollment should file the FAFSA by February 15th. Spring transfer applicants should file by October 15th.
- FAFSA applications are processed on a rolling basis; however, you must allow five to six weeks after your FAFSA has been completed to receive any aid for which you are eligible.
- If you file after the priority deadline, some types of aid may no longer be available to you, but we will process financial aid awards through the start of the semester and offer you any aid for which you are eligible.
IRS Data Retrieval Process
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA. Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.
Please note that although most people can use IRS Data Retrieval you may not be able to access IRS Data Retrieval tool if one of the following occur:
- Tax filing status is Married Filing Separately or Head of Household
- You filed an amended return
- You filed a Puerto Rico or foreign tax return
- You recently filed your tax return
If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It's the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents' tax returns to your college.
If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and your college requests a copy of your tax document or your parents' tax document, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.
- If you file electronically you have access to the IRS data retrieval approximately 2 weeks after filing.
- Paper filers will have access to the IRS data retrieval 6 to 8 weeks after filing.
Students and parents are encouraged to file taxes early; however, we know that many will not have their federal tax returns completed by the priority application deadline. You should use "estimated income" information on the initial FAFSA. Then you will be able to use the data retrieval process approximately 2 weeks after electronically filing or 6-8 weeks after paper filing.
After completing the federal tax return and waiting the appropriate amount of time, go to "Make FAFSA Corrections" on the FAFSA website www.fafsa.gov to transfer tax data using the IRS data retrieval process. You will need to use your FSA ID to log into the web site.
How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
You must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool. If you choose to do so, you will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site.
- Applicants will need to authenticate their identity before any person information is displayed. Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to "Transfer" the tax information to the FAFSA.
- Tax information for the prior year should be selected for the upcoming academic year. For example, 2014 tax information should be selected for the 2015-2016 FAFSA.
- Applicants can also choose NOT to transfer the data to the FAFSA; however, you may be at higher risk of being selected for verification.
What is verification and what do I need to do if selected?
Your FAFSA may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. According to the federal government, this means we must make sure the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate. If selected, we will ask for specific information to support or clarify your application. Submit your information promptly to avoid delay of your financial aid award. Please do not send us income documents unless we request you to do so.
- If you choose not to complete the data retrieval or if you make changes to the items transferred, you will then need to request a Tax Transcript from the IRS. Requests can be made online at www.irs.gov, by phone 1-800-908-9946 or by completing 4506 T-EZ. IRS processing time will depend on how you filed taxes and by which method you request the IRS Tax Transcript.
Failure to complete the IRS data retrieval process may result in your having to request the IRS Tax Transcript which will delay your finalized financial aid award. You may request the tax transcript online here.
Complete the Verification Process (If Selected)
Your FAFSA may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. According to the federal government, this means we must make sure the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate. If selected, we will mail you a letter asking for specific information to support or clarify your application. Submit your information promptly to avoid delay of your financial aid award. Please do not send us income documents unless we request you to do so. If you are asked to complete any special forms the forms can be found on this website at the Forms Page.
After You Apply for Financial Aid
Review your Student Aid Report
Your Student Aid Report (SAR) is a report that summarizes the information you submit on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It contains the expected family contribution (EFC) that you or your family is considered capable of contributing to educational expenses. Your SAR includes important information about the status of your application (such as missing information and/or missing signatures) that must be completed.
- You should receive your SAR three to five days after filing your FAFSA electronically.
- If you find any mistakes or information that needs to be updated, follow the instructions on your SAR to make corrections. Corrections can be made at www.fafsa.gov
Review Your Award Letter and Your Financial Aid Award Guide from Stevenson University
Review your award letter and Financial Aid Award Guide when you receive them. There are several factors that are weighed when creating financial aid awards. Learn more.
- New Students: Accepted students will be notified by mail beginning in mid March.
- Current Students: Email notifications directing students to WebXpress will begin in June (after Spring grades are posted).
- You may also view financial aid awards online in WebXpress.
- Be sure to keep your financial aid award letter (and any revised award letters) for your own records. You should also keep a copy of all documents that you submit to the Financial Aid Office.
- Advise the Financial Aid Office immediately if you receive a financial aid award from any other source. A change in your resources may affect your financial aid package.
If you or your family have unusual circumstances that might affect your need for student aid, submit the Special Conditions form to the Financial Aid Office for consideration. Be sure to include your name and SU ID or social security number in your request.
After You Receive Your Award
If you have been awarded a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, you will need to complete the process described below before you can receive your funds. More information about loan programs can be found under Types of Financial Aid.
The Federal Direct Student Loan Process
The Federal Direct Student Loan Application process requires a student to complete both Loan Entrance Counseling and also a Master Promissory Note. Both processes can be accessed on the www.studentloans.gov web site.
Remember, you only need to follow these instructions AFTER you have been awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan. Step by step instructions are posted at
The Direct PLUS Loan for Parents Process
Remember, you only need to follow these instructions AFTER you have been awarded a Direct PLUS Loan. Step-by-step instructions are posted at:
If you are applying for an Alternative/Private Loan be sure to follow any instructions given by your lender for that loan. Learn more.
Complete the Verification Process (If Selected)
Your FAFSA may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. According to the federal government, this means we must make sure the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate. If selected, we will mail you a letter asking for specific information to support or clarify your application. Submit your information promptly to avoid delay of your financial aid award. Please do not send us income documents unless we request you to do so.
If you are asked to complete any special forms, the forms can be found on the Forms Page.
Work-Study Jobs (If Awarded You Must Apply)
If you receive a work-study award and are interested in working, you must apply for a position using the University's Online Employment Site and click on Employment Opportunities. Students who have been awarded work-study will be notified when they can attend a required on-campus orientation session before beginning work.
If you were not offered work-study but are interested, please submit a written request for consideration to the Financial Aid Office.
Maintaining Your Funding
To maintain your financial aid award, continue to make satisfactory progress toward your degree requirements and remain in good academic standing. Review our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies for further information.
Most financial aid programs require at least half-time enrollment (6 credits for undergraduate students; 3 credits for graduate students) each semester. Please see the individual financial assistance programs on this site for minimum credit requirements.
Renew Your FAFSA Every Year
Need-based financial aid awards are not automatically renewed each year. To maintain eligibility, be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as early as January 1.
Return to Step 2: Apply for Aid for deadlines and further information.
Review Your Financial Aid Information
You may review your financial aid awards and status at any time in your WebExpress account.
If you have any questions during the process, please Contact Us.
How to Keep Your Financial Aid Award for Future Semesters
Any kind of aid you receive includes certain requirements to remain eligible and to continue to receive the funds you have been awarded. You should review the information on the Financial Aid website, in the Financial Aid Handbook, and on your award letter to be sure you understand the requirements for your specific award(s) and any consequences should you not meet those requirements.
If You Change Your Schedule, It Could Change Your Award
One requirement that can affect your aid almost immediately involves making changes to your schedule. Schedule changes can require an adjustment to your aid at the time you make the change and may cause you to have to repay funds. You want to be careful if you audit a class, add or drop a class/classes, or if you withdraw from all your classes. For more detailed information see the Financial Aid Handbook and the document "Return of Title IV Funds" on the "Policies and Information" page of the Financial Aid website.