How to Apply for Financial Aid
While the process of applying for financial aid may vary depending on type of aid, lending or awarding institution, or other factors, oftentimes the first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
For private loans, scholarships, or other awards, check with the provider’s website and follow application processes.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
The FAFSA® is a central document that can help students apply for assistance for a number of programs, including SJVC financial aid, federal student aid, and Cal Grant programs. The purpose of the FAFSA® is to determine the amount of assistance for which students are eligible. FAFSA® data such as income, assets, the number of family members in a household, and the number of family members who are enrolled in college are used to calculate eligible aid.
To fill out the FAFSA® form you will want to:
- Create an FSA ID: This username and password combination allows you to sign your FAFSA® form electronically. Your FSA ID also can also be used to log in to other Department of Education online services such as studentaid.gov and myStudentAid app; and access loan contracts, entrance and exit loan counseling, and detailed financial aid award information.
- Gather important documents: The FAFSA® will ask for identifying and financial information. Before filling out the form make sure you have your social security number, your parents’ social security numbers, federal tax information for you and/or your parents, or spouse if your married, and information on cash and assets such as property, and more. Be sure to keep these records handy as you may need them again.
FAFSA® forms are available online on Oct. 1 for the next school year. Students may come in person to their respective Campus Financial Aid Office to complete the FAFSA® or renewal. These forms can also be completed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. In order to complete the application, the applicant must include SJVC’s federal school code, 014741.
What Happens Next?
Upon submission of the FAFSA®, students will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR should be checked for accuracy and any necessary corrections should be made as soon as possible. Once the SAR has been determined to be complete, a financial aid calculation letter will be generated for the student which will state the student need (education cost), family contribution, amount of grants awarded, and the amount of loan monies available, if needed.
To receive unsubsidized or subsidized loan funds, students must complete a Master Promissory Note. Funds are then disbursed by the Student Accounts Manager, as described in the Award Letter. To receive Plus loan funds, parents must complete a Plus Master Promissory Note.
A Financial Services Advisor will review students financial aid files for accuracy and completion. A completed file may consist of a FAFSA®, loan entrance counseling, master promissory note, and other SJVC FA forms. Students may also be required to submit additional financial information such as taxes and household data if selected for verification by the Department of Education.