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 to have a valid FAFSA.
- What should I do first?
- When should I apply for aid?
- Where do I complete the FAFSA?
- Which year's financial or tax information do I need?
- Do I need to provide parent information on my FAFSA?
- What if my parents' or my marital status has changed since taxes were filed?
- 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?
Need more help? See the Federal Student Aid help website for filling out the FAFSA.
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 on October 1 for the following academic year (example: October 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 and Spring and Summer 2022).
- 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.
- Download the myStudent Aid app in the Apple App Store
- Download the myStudentAid app on Google Play
- Complete your FAFSA online
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.
Which Year's Financial or Tax Information Do I Need?
It can be hard to understand which year's financial information is being requested on the FAFSA. Depending on which question it is on the FAFSA, it may ask for current information or financial information for a certain financial year. Tax information is requested for a specific financial year. Pay attention to the question, because it will either say "current" within the question or list a specific financial year.
Here are the pertinent, specific financial years based on the FAFSA year.
|FAFSA Aid Year||Semesters Covered||Financial Year Requested|
|2020-2021||Fall 2020 and Spring/Summer 2021||2018 financial information (unless the question is specifically requesting current information)|
|2021-2022||Fall 2021 and Spring/Summer 2022||2019 financial information (unless the question is specifically requesting current 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 the Federal Student Aid website for dependency information 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 our Forms page.
If you have no contact with your parents, do not know where they live, your parents are incarcerated or deceased, or you have left home due to an abusive situation, complete your FAFSA without their information, then submit a Dependency Appeal.
What If My Parents' or My Marital Status Has Changed Since Taxes Were Filed?
Here are some tips for this type of situation using the example of the 2021–2022 FAFSA (which requests 2019 tax information):
- Your FAFSA asks for marital status "as of today" (the day it’s filled out). So if you or your parent are married now but were not for your 2019 taxes (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), the spouse’s 2019 income will need to be added to the FAFSA.
- Similarly, if you or your parent filed 2019 taxes as married but are no longer married when filling out your FAFSA, the spouse’s income will need to be subtracted.
- And if you or your parent were married when filing 2019 taxes, then got divorced and are now married to someone else, there’s a bit more math to do: Subtract the ex’s income, then add the new spouse’s income.
The FAFSA help text covers all these situations in more detail as you’re filling out the application.
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 the 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 a notification to your MIX email (via your WVU Portal) if you need to make corrections or submit additional documentation. See our Unsatisfied Requirements page 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 our 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 usually begin in December for the following academic year for new/incoming students for the upcoming aid year. They usually begin in March for current/continuing students.
Once aid is offered, students can see it via their Financial Aid Information in their WVU Portal.
- New, incoming students offered aid are notified starting in December via their MIX email (unless they have not submitted a FAFSA or have unsatisfied requirements preventing their aid review).
- Returning students offered aid are notified starting in March via their MIX email (unless they have not submitted a FAFSA or have unsatisfied requirements preventing their aid review).