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Office of Financial Aid

Applying for Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 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
2014-15                                Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Summer 2015           2014-2015
2013-14                                Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Summer 2014           2013-2014

You should file the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible.  While the FAFSA is easier to complete after federal income tax returns have been filed, you may file the FAFSA using estimates of your/your parents’ earnings for the previous year.  If you estimate earnings, you should update the FAFSA with accurate tax information once it becomes available.

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 fafsa.ed.gov 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 mailed in early July. Statements for the spring term are mailed in November.