How to Apply for Financial Aid
What Is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
The information needed to estimate your family's ability to contribute toward your educational costs is collected on a form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are applying for any of the federal student aid programs [Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), Federal Perkins Loan and/or the Federal Direct Loan Programs], this is the only form that may be used to calculate your expected family contribution. As the name implies, there is no fee for using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to apply for federal aid.
You can apply electronically for federal student aid by using FAFSA on the Web. There is no software to download or install, and the on-line application can be accessed by both PC and Macintosh systems. A central computer analyzes the information, calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and matches information reported on your FAFSA to data contained in numerous federal databases, such as the Social Security Administration. The results of the analysis are forwarded to both you and the schools to which you are applying.
If you do decide to apply online, you will need a FSA ID to sign your application. Additional information and a link to apply for a FSA ID can be found by clicking here. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need a FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA application and to apply for a Parent PLUS loan.
When Should You Apply for Financial Aid?
*NEW* Starting for the 2017-18 academic year, you can now file the FAFSA as early as October 1st of the preceding year. This earlier process of filing the FAFSA is known as Prior Prior Year (PPY). PPY means that you will be using IRS tax information from two years prior to the academic year for which you are applying (e.g. 2017-18 academic year will require the 2015 tax year data). For more information on PPY please click here. To assure maximum consideration for all forms of aid, the FAFSA must be processed by the Federal Processor on or before HPU’s priority deadline of March 1st of the upcoming academic year. Normal processing time for a FAFSA application submitted electronically is three days, but could take up to two weeks.
Please remember that financial aid is disbursed on or after the first day of the term and students should plan on having some funding arrangements for the first month of the semester, or until your financial aid funding can be made available to you. All financial aid documents must be received and reviews completed prior to any disbursements being made. Students should allow for at least 2 months processing time and be cognisant of processing deadlines which are usually 3 weeks prior to the end of any semester/term.
Applying for admission to a school based on your academic ability and applying for student aid based on your financial need are two different procedures. Even though financial aid awards are usually made only after the admissions office grants acceptance, you should not wait to apply for financial aid until you have been admitted to the school.
What Are the Steps to Apply for Financial Aid?
Applying for financial aid generally includes several steps. You may be asked to do any or all of the following tasks.
1. Complete the FAFSA.
The FAFSA collects financial information about you, your parents, and your family. Income received in the most recently completed calendar year, including untaxed income and benefits, will have to be reported, as will certain expenses. You may also be asked to provide the current value of any assets you or your parents own as well as the amount owed on those assets.
When applying for financial aid, you must provide a valid Social Security Number. If you do not have one, you should get one as soon as possible.
Completing the FAFSA may seem complicated, but don't let that discourage you. Take one question at a time, read the instructions carefully, and consult your high school counselor or our Financial Aid Office if you need help. Be sure you understand what the form is asking. Making errors can cause delays in your application.
2. The Student Aid Report (SAR).
3. Provide Verification Documents.
You may receive a letter from our office asking for further information needed to complete your processing, i.e. signed student and/or parent federal tax forms, Verification Form, etc. This review process is called verification. Schools have the right to request tax forms to verify the information you provided on the FAFSA, and we are required to do so by the federal government. Respond to our request quickly so we can send your financial aid award to you in a timely fashion.
4. Submit Other Requested Documents.
As your aid application is evaluated within the financial aid office, more information or documents may be requested. For example, you may need to certify you are registered with the Selective Service or not required to be registered. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be asked to document your status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or USCIS (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS). If the aid administrator thinks you might have special financial circumstances, he or she may ask for a more detailed explanation.
5. Respond to your Financial Aid Award.
You will receive an e-mailed financial aid award letter in your HPU Pipeline email account. It will instruct you to respond to your financial aid award in the financial aid section in Campus Pipeline before the deadline indicated on your letter and will advise you of any further documentation you should complete, if necessary. Your financial aid award is determined on the information you originally gave us when you applied for financial aid. If you should have a change of status or if you should receive additional scholarships, please let us know immediately as it may affect your financial aid.
HPU requires you to indicate whether you want the aid we have offered you, be sure to do so by the date specified. Even if you do not want the aid, or have decided not to attend HPU, let the Financial Aid Office know as a courtesy to other aid applicants who are still awaiting funding.
6. Submit Loan Forms, if required.
Some of the loan programs require additional application forms. All of them require a promissory note, which is a legal document you sign promising you will repay the loan. If you are offered one of these loans, and you decide to borrow the funds, you will need to complete the necessary forms.