Applying for Aid: FAFSA
What: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
When: As soon as possible on or after October 1 each year
Why: To determine your family’s expected contribution to your college costs and your eligibility for need-based financial assistance
How: fafsa.gov; North Park’s federal school code is 001735
For students from the United States, North Park University does not require a financial aid application other than the FAFSA and an application for admission. International students are asked to provide additional financial details as part of their application process.
The FAFSA helps North Park determine your eligibility for federal, state, and/or institutional aid like grants and loans. In fact, nearly every college and university in the country also uses this same form and information; you can send your data to every school you apply to as you’re making your college decision. If you’re a returning student, you’ll file a FAFSA each fall so that you continue to be eligible for any loans or grants that are a part of your financial aid package.
What You Need
Before you fill out a FAFSA, you’ll need to get a few things in order:
- Gather tax information for you and your parents (if you’re a dependent student according to the FAFSA). For the 2020–2021 academic year, you’ll need tax information from 2018, and it is helpful to have your actual tax forms with you as you are filling out the FAFSA. Find out who counts as your parent when you file your FAFSA. You may also have the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, in which case, you and/or your parent can import income information right from the IRS directly into your FAFSA.
- Apply for an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. Students and parents must apply for separate FSA IDs, which allow you and your parent, if you are a dependent student (according to the FAFSA) to electronically sign your FAFSA when you submit it.
When to File
It is in your best interest to file the FAFSA as soon as you are able. The form for the next academic year is available after October 1 of each calendar year. (For example, the 2020–21 FAFSA is available October 1, 2019.)
For undergraduate students from Illinois who may qualify for the Illinois MAP grant, filing the FAFSA by December 1 is critical in order to be considered for available funds from this program.
After filing, you will be able to review your information through the FAFSA website, and you can make corrections to your information online if necessary. As long as North Park is listed on your FAFSA, we will receive your updates electronically.
The FAFSA will generate a figure called an “EFC,” which stands for “Estimated Family Contribution.” The EFC is used by the Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional need-based student aid. The EFC generated by the FAFSA does not guarantee that you will only pay that amount for college.
Undergraduate Transfer Students
Financial aid packages are unique to each school. Be sure to add North Park University to your FAFSA online using our federal school code (001735) so that we receive your FAFSA and can generate an accurate financial aid package for you.
Some students are selected for FAFSA verification. If you’re selected, you will need to send copies of tax forms and some other paperwork to North Park. We will let you know if you are selected for verification.