How do I apply for financial aid and what is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for all federal and state aid programs. You will need to indicate Louisiana State University (school code #002010) in the school release section of the application so that we may receive your file. In most cases, you and your parents will need to complete the application.
Where do I find the FAFSA and when should I complete it?
The FAFSA should be submitted on-line at www.fafsa.gov. This application must be submitted annually after January 1st.
What programs am I actually applying for?
By completing the FAFSA you are applying for all Federal Title IV programs including grants, Federal Work-Study, and loans. Louisiana students can also use the FAFSA as the application for TOPS.
Is there a deadline for applying?
You may apply for financial aid any time after January 1 to use for the upcoming summer, fall, and spring semesters. We recommend that your application be submitted no later than March 1 for summer or fall enrollment and October 1 for spring-only enrollment. It is important that you complete the financial aid application process early enough each year so that your award will be in place prior to fee bill deadlines; otherwise, you will be responsible for payment of your fees.
Why should I apply early?
You are more likely to receive funds from all programs for which you are eligible as there are limited funds available in some of the Federal aid programs. Also, you will help ensure that your financial aid will be credited to your account when your fee bill is due. Generally fee bills are submitted to you five weeks prior to the beginning of each semester.
Do I need to apply each year?
Yes. Each year you must file either the FAFSA for the appropriate academic year. You must also maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to qualify for aid each year.
Can I check my financial aid status on-line?
Yes and you should! You may access your financial aid information on your MyLSU account. Your MyLSU ID and password can be found by contacting the Application Center at 225-578-0100. Once into your PAWS account on the left hand side in the Desktop section, select the Financial Services tab, and then select Financial Aid.
What happens after I complete my FAFSA?
You may be required to submit certain documents to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA. This may include, but is not limited to, copies of Federal tax returns, household size statements, and statements of untaxed income. These forms are to be submitted, upon request, to the LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid, not to the Federal processor. Your financial aid will not be complete until you have submitted the required documents.
How will I know if I’ve been awarded aid and how do I accept or decline it?
Once all requested documentation has been submitted to our office you will receive an email from our office notifying you of your award. Once you receive our notice you should refer to your MyLSU account and select “Financial Services”, “Financial Aid”, and then “Student Aid and Scholarships”. You can then accept or decline the desired programs and amounts.
Once I have accepted my award package is there anything that could change or affect my award?
Yes. Any changes in enrollment may affect your financial aid eligibility. If you have financial aid and are considering cancelling registration, dropping courses, or resigning, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid before doing so. You will be advised as to how your aid will be affected which will afford you the opportunity to make a wise decision.
Is there anything else that could affect my award/eligibility?
Yes. All aid is monitored to ensure that the total amount awarded including federal financial aid, scholarships (both institutional and outside), and other resources do not exceed the total cost of attendance for the academic year. Also, please remember to notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid of any outside awards you may be receiving.
I am an entering freshman. How do I gain access to my PAWS account?
Your MyLSU ID and password can be found by contacting the Application Center at 225-578-0100. Once you have logged into your MyLSU account, on the left hand side in the Desktop Section, select the Financial Services tab. Then select Financial Aid, Federal Financial Aid, and select the award year you wish to view. Please note that it is important to access your financial aid information frequently throughout the application process.
How is my “financial need” determined?
The Federal processor determines your individual family’s ability to contribute to the cost of your education (“Expected Family Contribution” or “EFC”) using the information you provide on the FAFSA. This figure is used solely for the determination of financial need and does not represent a figure you will owe the University. The formula they apply is referred to as “Federal methodology”. After receiving your EFC from the processor, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid then subtracts that EFC from the Cost of Attendance. In essence, the formula is Cost of Attendance-EFC= Financial Need.
What is the Cost of Attendance?
The Cost of Attendance(COA) is the amount the University calculates or estimates that it will cost you to attend for the academic year. Costs includes: tuition/fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. This figure is used solely for the determination of financial aid and does not represent a figure you will owe the University. Budgets are calculated for undergraduates and graduate and professional students living both on and off campus.
How much is available for students to borrow?
The amount that a student can borrow varies dependent upon many factors including but not limited to your level in college and your individual eligibility based on your FAFSA.
What if I am not eligible for aid based on need. Is anything else available?
Some loans are independent of financial need. Please refer to our loan information on our website. You will find information concerning the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Alternative Loan, Federal Graduate PLUS loan, and the Federal Parent PLUS Loan.
The following are examples of common individual circumstances that may affect you. Please read further for more specific FAQ’s.
If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used when I’m completing the FAFSA?
If your natural parents are separated or divorced, use the natural parent with whom you lived the most in the past twelve (12) months. If you lived with neither parent, or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past twelve (12) months. If that parent has remarried, you must also include the step parent’s financial information on the application, and parent and step parent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.
My parents got divorced but filed a joint Federal tax return. How do I complete the FAFSA?
When completing the FAFSA, only provide the income information from the tax return for the parent who qualifies as your responsible parent and your parent should report divorced/separated on the FAFSA.
My parents don’t claim me on their tax return and don’t give me any money. Can I file as “Independent”?
It has no bearing on being able to be considered as “independent” whether or not your parents claimed you on their tax return. The Higher Education Act established requirements for establishing independence. Several questions are addressed on the FAFSA. If the answer is “YES” to any of the questions you will be considered “Independent” for financial aid purposes.
I’m getting married during the school year for which I am applying for aid. Can I complete my FAFSA as “married”?
No. You must indicate your marital status as of the date you are completing the FAFSA. You cannot update your marital status once you have filed your FAFSA.
I originally reported $10,000 in savings on my FAFSA. I have since purchased something with the savings. Can I correct this?
No. You must report asset information as of the date you sign the original FAFSA. You cannot update your asset information.
What if I have other unusual circumstances?
If you have experienced any of the following circumstances check with your financial aid counselor to see if this may affect your financial aid application/status: divorce of parents or you from your spouse, death of a major wage earner, loss of employment of a major wage earner, or loss of other income or benefits such as child support by you, your parents, or your spouse.