Your Step-by-Step Guide
Stevenson is committed to making college affordable and accessible to you, and we’re here to guide you to the right financial path. Our mentoring and personalized attention, supportive campus community, career focus, and exceptional experiences in and out of the classroom are all part of the “Best Value” that we bring to your education. Get your journey started today!
Before You Apply for Financial Aid
Research Your Financing Options
Students rely on funding from a number of sources to help finance their education:
- 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.
- For new first-year, full-time, undergraduate students, 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 Federal Student Aid Estimator.
|New freshmen entering fall term||You can start filing the FAFSA on December 31 for the following academic year. February 15 is Stevenson’s deadline to submit the FAFSA for maximum consideration for funding from all sources.|
|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 beginning December 31 for the next academic year|
|New graduate students entering fall term||December 31 – March 1|
|Current graduate students||Renew annually beginning December 31 for the next academic year|
Apply for Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
What is the FSA ID?
The FSA ID recently replaced the PIN as the way you log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites, including fafsa.gov, and serves as the electronic equivalent of your signature.
To get an FSA ID, you’ll need this information:
- Your Social Security number
- Your full and correct name
- Your date of birth
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. Parents should also have a FSA ID if you meet the dependent student definition as described on the FAFSA. 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.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Federal Student Aid as early as October 1 prior to the academic year in which you plan to enroll. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2023, you can submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2022 using income tax information from your 2020 Federal Income Tax Return.
- 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 October 1 and February 15 to maximize your chances of consideration of funds from all sources. If you miss the February 15 priority deadline, still apply for available funds.
- Transfer Students: Transfer applicants for fall enrollment should file the FAFSA by February 15. Spring transfer applicants should file by October 15.
- 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.
Am I Eligible for IRS Data Retrieval?
- 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 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.
- Your tax information for the prior-prior year will be used beginning for the 2017-2018 FAFSA. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2017, you can submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2016 using income tax information from your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.
- 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 studentaid.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 Self Service Financial Aid will begin in June (after Spring grades are posted).
- You may also view financial aid awards online in Self Service Financial Aid.
- 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 Federal Student Aid 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 included on page 14 of the Financial Aid Award Guide or by visiting our Loan information page.
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 included on page 16 of the Financial Aid Award Guide or by visiting our Loan information page.
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 Federal Student Aid as early as October 1 for the following academic year using the prior year’s tax information. For example, if you plan to enroll in the fall 2023, you can submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2022 using income tax information from your 2021 Federal Income Tax Return.
Review Your Financial Aid Information
You may review your financial aid awards and status at any time in your Self Service Financial Aid account. If you have any questions during the process, please contact the financial aid office.
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.
Contact Financial Aid
Ready to talk about financial aid? Reach out to us!
100 Campus Circle
Garrison Hall North Room 241
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Schedule an Appointment
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Meet with your Financial Aid Counselor