Financial Aid Office

How to Apply for Financial Aid

All students are encouraged to apply for federal and state financial aid, whether or not you think that you may be eligible. Applying for financial aid is free when you use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information from your FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for all types of financial aid – grants, work study, and student loans.

We recommend that you apply for financial aid each year by the first part of March or as soon as you complete your federal income tax returns. The sooner you apply, the sooner you receive notification of your financial aid eligibility. Some aid programs have limited funding (work study and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant) and are awarded on a first come-first served basis. 

Where do you start?

  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st at www.fafsa.govView the FAFSA videos for a quick overview.
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer your federal tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA to increase accuracy on your FAFSA. Watch the DRT Tutorial for assistance.
  • If you have completed a FAFSA for the previous year, you may use your FSA ID to pre-fill your current year's FAFSA (i.e., you completed the 2014-2015 and want to pre-fill the 2015-2016 FAFSA).
  • Include Saint Cloud State University School Code 002377 on your FAFSA. Transfer students: Remember to include St. Cloud State's school code (002377) on your FAFSA and ask the other school to cancel any pending financial aid for the term you are transferring to St. Cloud State.
  • Complete the Release of Information (optional) if you want to give the Financial Aid Office permission to discuss your financial aid with a third party (e.g., parent, spouse, agency, etc.)

If you are selected for verification (approximately 30 percent of students are selected), we will send you a letter requesting additional information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool or a copy federal income tax return transcripts and W-2 forms for both student and parent (dependent students) or spouse (independent students) are required for verification of tax data.

When your financial aid application is completed and processed, we will notify you that your award letter is available on your SCSU e-Services under the "Financial Aid" link.

To help you with your financial aid planning, please see the sections of our website that refer to Timelines and Important Dates and Deadlines.

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