Completing the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed for every academic year a student wishes to receive federal financial aid. Please note some state aid and scholarship programs also 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?
- How can I get assistance submitting 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 webpage for steps you should take and documents and information you may need.
When Should I Apply for Aid?
Submit your FAFSA early!
- The FAFSA typically becomes available on October 1 for the following academic year (example: October 1, 2022 for Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024). However, the launch of the 2024-2025 FAFSA is delayed due to the Department of Education’s FAFSA Simplification updates. The 2024-2025 FAFSA is expected to become available in December 2023.
- 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 Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or Federal Work-Study.
Where Do I Complete the FAFSA?
The FAFSA can be completed online via the Federal Student Aid website.
The 2023-2024 FAFSA allows you to submit your information to up to ten different institutions. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, you can add up to 20 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.
How Can I Get Assistance Submitting the FAFSA?
The WVU Hub offers free, one-on-one appointments to students who need assistance submitting the FAFSA. Click on the button below to view the online sign-up form and register for a time slot today!
For assistance completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA, students and other contributors must have their Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) available at the time of the appointment. See our Preparing for the FAFSA webpage for more information on FSA IDs.
Which Year's Financial or Tax Information Do I Need?
See our Preparing for the FAFSA webpage for documents and information you may need.
Here are the pertinent, specific financial years based on the FAFSA year.
|FAFSA Aid Year||Semesters Covered||Financial Year Requested|
|2023-2024||Fall 2023 and Spring/Summer 2024||2021 financial information (unless the question is specifically requesting current information)|
|2024-2025||Fall 2024 and Spring/Summer 2025||2022 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, for your FAFSA and you answer “Yes” to the Apply for Directly Unsubsidized Loan Only question on the FAFSA, you may be eligible for limited unsubsidized loan eligibility if your parent(s) complete the FAFSA Parent Information Refusal form.
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, answer “Yes” to the Student Unusual Circumstances question on the FAFSA to complete the application without their information, then you may submit an Unusual Circumstances form.
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 2024–2025 FAFSA (which requests 2022 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 2022 taxes (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), the spouse’s 2022 income will need to be added to the FAFSA.
- Similarly, if you or your parent filed 2022 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 2022 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.
- Students receive a
Student Aid Report (SAR) — a summary of their FAFSA information — to the
email listed on their application from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the SAR will be replaced by the FAFSA Submission Summary. 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 webpage 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 in which you can submit an appeal. Students who wish to appeal an EFC calculated from a 2023-2024 FAFSA should visit our EFC Calculation Appeal webpage. Information about appealing a Student Aid Index (SAI) starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA is forthcoming (pending information from the U.S. Department of Education).
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 offers have begun for the upcoming year, students can see their aid via their Financial Aid Information in the 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).
Incoming students for the 2024-2025 academic year may start receiving scholarship offers in December 2023.
Due to the delayed release of the 2024-2025 FAFSA and changes to the financial aid process by the Department of Education, we do not have an estimated time for when full financial aid offers for fall 2024 will begin. We cannot begin reviewing federal and state financial aid eligibility until the Department of Educations makes the FAFSA available and all new processes and policies have been implemented and tested.