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Applying for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application that collects household and financial information for the student and the student's parents/family. The FAFSA is the foundation we use to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional programs.

How do I apply?

You should file your FAFSA online anytime after January 1 each year. Filing online improves the accuracy of your application since FAFSA includes "smart edits" in the application. If you are unable to file online, you can contact FAFSA at (800) 433-3243. You can request up to 3 paper applications a year.

You may be required to include parent information on your application. To determine if you are considered a dependent student or independent student review the qualifications for independent status.

Common errors can be avoided by reviewing FAFSA filing tips and the tutorial Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

When do I apply?

The priority deadline is March 1 each year. A FAFSA filed after March 1 may not receive the maximum in financial aid eligibility due to limited monies. Your FAFSA does require tax information. If you do not have your taxes filed, it is okay to estimate your information. Be sure to correct your FAFSA information once your taxes are finalized.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

Financial aid includes funds in the form of grants, scholarships, work study or loans that are made available to students and their families. These funds are designed to assist students and their families with college costs. Eligibility for financial aid is dependent on the type of aid for which you are applying.

Federal Aid

To be considered for federal aid programs, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA requires you have the following eligibility:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate

  • have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass an approved "ability to benefit" test, or have completed a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under state law

  • be registered with the Selective Service if required (in general, if you are a male over the age of 18)

  • have a valid Social Security Number

  • not have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid

There may be additional requirements. Our office will contact you by mail or email if additional information is required.

State Aid

The State of Michigan has many financial aid programs for residents of Michigan. Each program has different requirements.

Institution Aid

All students at Grand Valley are reviewed for scholarships at the time of admission. Additional scholarships are listed in our scholarship database. In addition to scholarships, all students who file the FAFSA will be reviewed for need-based grant eligibility.

How do I sign the FAFSA?

Students and their parents can sign the FAFSA electronically using an FSA ID. Signing your FAFSA electronically is the fastest way for your information to be processed and sent to Grand Valley.

Follow Up Requests

On occasion our office will need additional information from you in order to process your FAFSA. The additional information we would ask for simply verifies the information you listed on your FAFSA form. The list below are the types of information we may request. Do not send us information unless we send you a request. This can cause confusion and delay your award notification.

If you receive a request for additional information respond as quickly as possible. We are not able to finalize your award notification until the process is finished.

Please note that your award eligibility will be reassessed as a result of required follow up requests. This may increase or decrease the amount and type of aid awarded to you.