Financial Aid and FAFSA
Our school code is 002986.
To apply for financial aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at Federal Student Aid. You must file a FAFSA each academic year. All applications are processed centrally by a federal process. If the Federal Processor receives your FAFSA by March 1, your application becomes a "Priority Application" for WSSU financial aid. Although there are no guarantees, a priority application means that you have a better chance of receiving certain funds that are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To complete the FAFSA application for the 2013-2014 school year, you will need financial information from 2012. You may need to refer to:
- Your Social Security card. It is important that you enter your Social Security Number correctly!
- Your driver's license (if any)
- Your 2012 W-2 forms and other records of money earned
- Your (and if married, your spouse's) 2012 Federal Income Tax Return. (It is important that you file your tax returns as early as possible.)
- Your Parents' 2012 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
- If this is your first time filing a FAFSA application, you (and your parent, if applicable) can apply for a PIN at Federal Student Aid PIN. (You will receive the PIN number(s) from the Federal Processor via email or mail within 3 – 10 days from the date of the request.)
- You will need to enter a PIN number to serve as your electronic signature for the FAFSA. If you are an undergraduate, dependent student your parent must also sign the FAFSA with their own PIN number.
It is important and to your advantage to file your tax returns before completing the 2013-2014 FAFSA application. The FAFSA asks for financial information, including balances of savings and checking accounts and information from tax forms. Use income records for the tax year prior to the academic year for which you are applying: for the 2013–14 FAFSA, you will need 2012 tax information.
If you have done your taxes, be sure to consider the option in FAFSA on the Web to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. You may be able to use the tool if you filed your taxes electronically at least three weeks ago or if you filed on paper at least eight weeks ago. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool saves you time and effort:
- You don’t have to find your tax records and locate the data needed for your FAFSA.
- You don’t have to worry about making mistakes entering your tax information on your FAFSA.
- If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and don’t change any of the retrieved information in your FAFSA, you won’t need to provide tax transcripts if you’re selected for verification.
Once you complete and submit the FAFSA on-line, the processed information will be sent electronically from the Federal Processor to WSSU within two weeks, provided that you included WSSU's school code (002968) on the FAFSA. A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you to confirm the data entered on the FAFSA.
Tips for Filing the FAFSA
- If you have not filed your taxes, you may estimate tax information in order to file the FAFSA by March 1, then update the FAFSA information after filing the federal tax return.
- Read the instructions for the FAFSA before you fill it out. This is very important. Errors and omissions delay processing and awarding.
- Make sure your name, Social Security Number, and birth date are correct on the FAFSA to prevent delays.
- When you complete tax-related questions, pay special attention to the tax form line numbers given for some questions. These will guide you to the correct figures to use from your tax forms.
- Be sure you submit the required signatures when you file the FAFSA. Without appropriate signatures, your application will not be processed.
- Be sure you enter your correct housing code. If you do not enter the correct housing code or do not enter any code at all, your financial aid award may be incorrect and may have to be recalculated.
- Do not send tax returns or other extraneous information to the Federal Processor after you complete the FAFSA. But DO keep these documents for your records. You may need to provide copies of them later, if requested to do so.