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Applying for Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Information

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The time to file your 2017-2018 FAFSA has changed!!!!!  You are now able to complete your FAFSA on October 1, 2016. THAT’S THIS OCTOBER!  Please note you will use the same income information you used this year, i.e., 2015 tax data is all you need!  File as close to October 1st as you can to be eligible for the most financial aid possible.  The priority date for need-based aid is still March 1, 2017.  Read more information.

Every year students and families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate award year in order to be considered for federal financial aid (including student loans).

Which FAFSA?                    Terms/Semesters                                     Award Year
2017-18                                Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018           2017-2018
2016-17                                Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017           2016-2017
2015-16                                Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016           2015-2016

You should file the FAFSA as soon after October 1st as possible.  You will complete the FAFSA using prior-prior year tax data (for 2017-2018 that will be 2015 tax data).

In order to be considered for all available need-based aid, the FAFSA should be received by the federal processor by March 1. FAFSAs may be filed throughout the school year, but funds are limited in many programs. In any case, FAFSAs must be filed in time for application data to be transmitted from the federal processor to the school so that awards can be made prior to the time a student ceases enrollment.

Keep copies of all forms you and your family used in completing the FAFSA. You should print a copy of your electronic application or your completed paper FAFSA for your records.

In order for the Winthrop University Office of Financial Aid to receive your processed FAFSA information, you must list our federal code number 003456 on the application.

If you prefer not to file an electronic application, you may download, print and complete a .pdf FAFSA from the website or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID to request a paper copy. 

Before you begin filing the FAFSA online, make sure you have the following items:  

  1. Your social security card and driver's license
  2. Your (and your spouse's, if married) federal income tax return
  3. Your parents' (if you are a dependent) federal income tax return
  4. W-2 Forms or other records of income earned
  5. Records any untaxed income received, such as veteran's non-education benefits; child support payments received by you (or your parents) for all children included in the household; housing, food and other living allowances paid to members of the clergy or military (excluding on-base military housing or basic military allowance for housing)  
  6. Current bank statements
  7. Business or farm records, if you or your parents own a business or farm
  8. Records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  9. Your alien registration card (if you are not a US citizen)

When completing the FAFSA, report your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card.  Do not use nicknames, abbreviations, or middle names as first names. The U.S. Department of Education requires that your name on the FAFSA identically match your name on Social Security Administration records. You will be required to submit additional documentation should a name conflict occur.

Once the Office of Financial Aid has received your application data from the processor, you may be requested to provide additional documentation. The federal processor selects approximately 30 percent of all applicants for a verification process. This means the Office of Financial Aid must collect certain documents to confirm the accuracy of the information you provided on your FAFSA.

The financial aid application process is considered complete when the Office of Financial Aid receives a valid FAFSA/Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) from the federal processor AND the verification process (if required) and any requests for other documentation (citizenship, Selective Service registration, etc.) are submitted and processed.

Once the financial aid application process is complete and you are fully admitted to the University, you will receive an email notification directing you to Wingspan to view your financial aid award package.  You must then indicate whether you accept or decline each financial aid program offered on Wingspan in order to finalize the award process.  Please note:  If you have been awarded a South Carolina scholarship or grant, you must agree to the information on the Terms and Conditions tab before you may accept/decline your award package on Wingspan.

To be eligible for any form of federal or state financial aid, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a documented, eligible non-citizen.
  • You must be admitted to the University as a regular degree-seeking student (i.e., not a visiting, special, or post-baccalaureate student). One exception to this requirement is teacher certification; those admitted to the teacher certification program may be considered for federal student loans.

Begin the FAFSA on the Web now

Financial assistance awarded from federal, state, or institutional grants or loans will appear as credits on your statement of account for each semester. Statements for the fall term are usually e-mailed in early July. Statements for the spring term are e-mailed in November.


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