Applying For Financial Aid

1. Apply for a Federal Student Aid ID

Students and parents are required to use a Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID) to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites – including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Both students and parents need an FSAID to electronically sign the student’s FAFSA. It can take three business days for your FSAID to be ready, so create one early.

2. Application Process:

It is recommended that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid early.

  • It becomes available October 1 for the following school year (example: October 1, 2016 for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018).
  • You will use 2015 tax information for the 2017-2018 FAFSA (for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018). This CANNOT be updated with 2016 tax information. If your financial circumstances have changed, that can be resolved using a “Review of Financial Hardship” form.
  • The priority deadline is March 1 to receive the best financial aid package available to you.
  • FAFSAs submitted after March 1 will not be considered for certain types of aid, such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work Study.
  • The FAFSA School Code for WVU’s Morgantown Campus is 003827.

Once your application is processed by the Federal Processing Center, a notification called the Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you either electronically (if you included an email address on the FAFSA) or by mail.

  • If you listed WVU’s school code on your FAFSA, we will electronically receive your information and begin to determine your eligibility.
  • Financial aid award notifications begin to go out in December for admitted, first-time freshmen and February for continuing students.

3. Verification of FAFSA Information:

The federal government may select you for a process called “verification.” This means the institution must verify the information you provided on your FAFSA.

  • If you are selected, the institution must verify your information before reviewing you for financial aid.
  • You will be notified by our office via email and/or letter requesting additional information.
  • Your financial aid cannot be processed until all required documents are received and the process has been completed.
  • Required documents can also be found under “Unsatisfied Requirements” through your STAR account.

How to View Unsatisfied Requirements for Financial Aid:

  1. Log on to your STAR account at
  2. Click on “STAR Information System Login”
  3. Click on “Financial Aid”
  4. Click on “Eligibility”
  5. Select the appropriate Aid Year
  6. Click on “Student Requirements” tab

If you must submit a Tax Return Transcript, you can provide the information in one of following ways:

1.) Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of the FAFSA online. Go to, log in to the student’s FAFSA, select “Make FAFSA Corrections”, and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information onto the student’s FAFSA. You can instructions here.

2.) Request an IRS Tax Return Transcript as follows:
– Go to the IRS Get Transcript webpage, or call 800-908-9946.
– Make sure you order the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.”
– You will need to use your Social Security Number, date of birth, and address on file with the IRS.

3.) Request your tax return transcript using your smartphone with the free IRS2Go mobile app:
– Download IRS2Go for Android devices from the Google Play Store or IRS2Go for iOS from the App Store:

irs2go app google play store irs2go app store

NOTE: It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper tax return filers. If the parents are married, and they filed separate tax returns, then you must obtain a separate IRS Tax Return Transcript for each parent. A copy of a paper tax return prepared by filer or tax preparer cannot be accepted.

4. Financial Hardship:

Students often find the information they provided on the FAFSA no longer accurately reflects their family’s financial situation. Students may choose to submit a Review of Financial Hardship Form for review.

There are limitations to hardships the U.S. Department of Higher Education will allow financial aid administrators to consider. To remain equitable, our office will review all applications on a case-by-case basis.

The following conditions may be considered:

  • Loss of Employment/Reduction of Income
  • Separation/Divorce
  • Death of Parent/Spouse
  • Reduction/Loss of Child Support
  • Healthcare and Dental Expenses Out of Pocket, Paid in Full
  • One-time Income Used for Essential Items

The following conditions generally are not considered:

  • Information on the FAFSA resulted in a 0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Loss of overtime or bonus
  • Bankruptcy, foreclosures or collection costs associated with outstanding debts
  • Consumer debt (credit cards, car payments, loans, etc.)
  • Payments on back taxes owed to the IRS
  • Debt forgiveness that reflects as income on a tax return
  • Lottery or gambling winnings or losses
  • One-time income used for non-life essential items (e.g. family vacation)

Submission of the Review of Financial Hardship Form and supporting documentation will result in one of the following outcomes:

  • No change
  • Reduced EFC but no change in financial aid offer
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to federal loans
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to state and/or federal grants
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to state and/or federal grants and federal loans

Next, Read About Receiving Your Aid