Complete the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed every academic year a student is interested in federal financial aid. Please note some state aid and scholarship programs require the student have a valid FAFSA.
- What should I do first?
- When should I apply for aid?
- Where do I complete the FAFSA?
- What tax information do I need?
- Do I need to provide parent information on my FAFSA?
- What happens after I submit my FAFSA?
- What if my FAFSA does not accurately reflect my financial need or circumstances have changed?
- When will I receive a financial aid offer?
What Should I Do First?
See our Preparing for the FAFSA page for steps you should take and documents and information you may need.
When Should I Apply for Aid?
Submit your FAFSA early!
- The FAFSA becomes available October 1 for the following academic year (example: October 1, 2019 for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021).
- The priority deadline to submit is March 1 for the upcoming academic year to receive the best aid offer available to you. However, the FAFSA may still be completed after March 1 for consideration for some federal grants and loans.
- FAFSAs submitted after March 1 will not be considered for certain types of aid, such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or Federal Work Study.
Where Do I Complete the FAFSA?
The FAFSA can be completed via the myStudentAid app or online at fafsa.ed.gov.
The FAFSA allows you to submit your information to up to ten different institutions. Within the FAFSA you can search by name or by the school code 003827 for WVU (including divisional campuses) to be listed as one of the institutions to receive your FAFSA information.
What Tax Information Do I Need?
- For the 2019-2020 FAFSA (fall 2019, spring and summer 2020), you need 2017 tax information.
- For the 2020-2021 FAFSA (fall 2020, spring and summer 2021), you need 2018 tax information. The 2020-2021 FAFSA will be available on October 1, 2019.
Visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out#financial-info for more on providing financial information.
Do I Need to Provide Parent Information on My FAFSA?
Most students are considered dependent for federal aid purposes, which means parent information must be included on the FAFSA. Visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency to determine if you are dependent as well as details on which parent's information should be reported on the FAFSA (if parents are divorced, separated, etc.).
If your parents refuse to provide information for your FAFSA, you may be eligible for limited unsubsidized loan eligibility if your parent(s) complete the "Parent Refusal to Provide Financial Support" form available on the Forms section of our website.
If you have no contact with your parents, don't know where they live, parent is incarcerated or deceased, or have left home due to an abusive situation, complete your FAFSA without their information, then submit a Dependency Appeal.
What Happens After I Submit My FAFSA?
- Financial aid is a process, so there will be additional steps after submitting your FAFSA. You may need to make corrections, submit additional documentation, or simply accept/decline your aid after it is offered.
- You will receive a summary of data you submitted called the Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education (via email if you provided an email address on the FAFSA). It does not tell you how much aid you will receive, but it does list if you may need to make corrections to your FAFSA or if you have been selected for verification of data you provided on your FAFSA.
- WVU will also send notification to you via your MIX email if you need to make corrections or submit additional documentation. See Unsatisfied Requirements for more information.
What if My FAFSA Does Not Accurately Reflect My Financial Need or Circumstances Have Changed?
If the information you provided on your FAFSA no longer accurately reflects your or your family's financial situation, there are certain circumstances where students can submit an appeal. Please note that if your Expected Family Contribution on your Student Aid Report (SAR) is "0" you have already been offered the maximum amount of aid you are eligible to receive. See the Family Contribution Appeal page for more information.
When Will I Receive a Financial Aid Offer?
If a FAFSA is received and there are not any unsatisfied requirements preventing the institution from reviewing you for financial aid eligibility, notifications of financial aid offers begin in December for the following academic year.
Once aid is offered, students can see it via their Financial Aid Information at portal.wvu.edu.
- New, incoming students offered aid are notified starting in December via their MIX email.
- Returning students offered aid are notified starting in March via their MIX email.