Tips on Applying for Need-Based Financial Aid

Accurate and on-time filing of financial aid application forms is critical to receiving the assistance you are eligible for. By following the suggestions below you will increase the timely turn-around of your application.

  1. Create FSA ID
    Create your student (and parent, if you are a dependent filer) FSA ID at www.fsaid.ed.gov. This will serve as your electronic signature(s), resulting in faster turn-around of your FAFSA. If you and/or your parent do not create a FSA ID, you must print, sign, and mail the signature page directly to the federal processing center. Your FAFSA will not be processed, nor will results be forwarded to the college/university Financial Aid Office(s) without the proper signature(s). You may also create a FSA ID at the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.gov) or view "How to Create FSA ID" for more detailed instructions. There is also this helpful video.
  2. Meet college financial aid office deadlines/priority dates
    The 2019-20 FAFSA can be filed after Oct. 1, 2018.  Contact the colleges/universities to inquire about their filing dates for priority consideration. Every institution sets their own date(s) so you will need to contact each college/university you are considering. Deadline for priority consideration for the 2019–20 academic year at Viterbo University is Feb. 1, 2019.
  3. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
    Using the DRT feature on the FAFSA, when at all possible, ensures the accuracy of the data, thereby reducing the opportunity to be selected for "verification of data."
  4. Read the instructions carefully to ensure you are providing the correct data
    Financial Aid definitions frequently differ from IRS definitions, particularly as they pertain to assets and taxable income vs. untaxed income.
  5. Keep copies of all forms you submit—you may be asked to provide them for verification and/or clarification at a later date
    If you are asked to provide additional documentation/information, do so at your earliest convenience. Your application will be in a "hold" status until the requested information is provided to the Financial Aid Office. Failure to submit data as requested could jeopardize your eligibility for some/all types of financial assistance.
  6. Contact your college/university financial aid office if you have any questions regarding the financial aid process
    Financial Aid Office at Viterbo University: 608-796-3900 or financialaid@viterbo.edu.