General Catalog 2020-2021

Applying for Federal Financial Aid

The following steps are required to apply and receive federal student aid; however it is best for students to work with the Financial Aid Department to complete the application process:

Obtaining a FSA ID

In order to apply for Federal Financial Aid you will need a Federal Student Aid ID, a username that allows you to sign into some U.S. Department of Education website, including the website to complete your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online. You can get your PIN as you fill out the FAFSA, but you also have the option to get it ahead of time. Go to www.pin.ed.gov and provide a few pieces of information such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address.

*Getting a FSA ID before you begin the FAFSA could prevent processing delays.

Completing the FAFSA

In order to apply for Financial Aid a student will need to complete the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid). Students can complete the application online at www.fafsa.gov. Financial aid officers will provide students with the information to complete the FAFSA on the University financial aid portal.

Entrance Counseling

If a student is borrowing Federal Loans, they will need to complete an Entrance counseling online www.studentloans.gov. Students can complete the required entrance counseling on the University financial aid portal.

Master Promissory Note

Students borrowing Federal Loans will need to complete a Master Promissory Note. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which the student promises to repay their loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s). For instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provisions are available. A student can take out additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.

It’s important for students to understand what they are signing. For instance, the MPN states the following:

  • You must repay your loan even if you don’t complete your education.
  • You must repay your loan even if you can’t get a job after you leave school.
  • You must repay your loan even if you didn’t like the education you received.

Before or at the time of the first disbursement of a student loan(s), the student will receive a disclosure statement that gives information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under the MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

To complete an electronic MPN:

  • From the StudentLoans.gov home page, click on the "Sign In" button located in the "Manage My Direct Loan" box. The Sign In page will appear.
  • Once signed in, click on the "Complete MPN" option located under the "Master Promissory Note" heading on the left menu bar. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) page will appear.
  • Select the type of loan you would like to receive.
  • Follow the instructions to complete, sign, and submit your MPN.

The Financial Aid Department will be notified of the completion and will contact the student if further action is needed. Before your loans are disbursed, the student will receive a disclosure statement from the school.

To view your submitted Master Promissory Notes (MPN), go to www.studentloans.gov and login to your account. Once logged in go to the MyProfile page and select "Completed MPNs" under "My Loan Documents."

Verification

Verification is a process initiated by the U.S. Department of Education or by the University’s Financial Aid Department requiring students to verify the information that has been provided on the FAFSA. Students are then required to submit tax transcripts from the IRS and any other required documents to the Financial Aid Department.

If a student’s application is selected for verification, the student will not be eligible for federal aid until this process is completed. Therefore, it is important that students submit all required documents completed in full with appropriate signatures within 15 days of the date they are notified that they have been selected.

About 30% of all financial aid applicants at USU are selected at random each year for verification when their application is processed. Other students are selected due to discrepancies or missing information on their application after file review by the Financial Aid Department, or after a request for consideration of special/unusual circumstances.

The following items must be submitted if a student’s application is selected for verification: a signed copy of the student’s (and spouse, if married) prior year transcripts and/or a signed copy of the student’s parent’s prior year federal income tax transcripts (for students who were required to provide parent financial information on the FAFSA) and completed Verification Worksheet.

Other supporting documents that may be requested:

  • Child support
  • AFDC/ADC/TANF
  • Identification Card
  • Immigration
  • Social Security
  • Birth Certificate(s)
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Social Security Card (must have correct, current name)
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Money paid on your behalf
  • Other sources of income

To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit all required documents promptly. Also, be sure you have filled out the Verification Worksheet completely, and that all documents are signed by the appropriate parties. Documents with blanks and missing signatures will be returned.

For more information, guidance, and tools about federal student assistance, students can also visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website on federal student aid at http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov or contact the Financial Aid Department.

Application Forms and Deadlines

Financial aid students must complete and submit all required financial aid documents by the first day of class. If a student has elected to use financial aid to pay for their tuition and fees but has not completed the financial aid process they will not be given access to their courses.

Students must complete the financial aid process annually to determine continued eligibility.