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How to Apply for Financial Aid

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  • Apply
  • Verify
  • Review
  • Accept
  • Finalize
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Step 1. Apply for Financial Aid

There are three major types of financial aid: loans, Federal Work-Study, and gift aid (scholarships and grants). The application process for each varies slightly, but two major applications are needed to apply for the majority of aid: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Purdue Scholarship Application.

Types of Aid

Purdue Scholarship Application       December - January

Incoming freshmen should complete the Purdue Scholarship Application by February 1, 2014, to be considered for scholarships that have a financial need component and are awarded by Purdue’s colleges and schools. The application allows Purdue colleges and schools to identify incoming freshmen who may be eligible for merit scholarships that have a financial need component. Note that the application should include the expected family contribution (EFC) and parental contribution (PC) estimates from the College Board EFC calculator.

Completing the 2014-15 FAFSA                  January - February

To apply for federal, state and Purdue University student aid programs, you must file the 2014-15 FAFSA. You must file the FAFSA annually to be considered for aid each academic year.

Students need to complete the 2014-15 FAFSA on or after January 1, 2014, and have it postmarked or electronically transmitted by March 1, 2014, to receive priority consideration for available funds. Although students may submit the FAFSA after March 1, fund availability may be considerably reduced for applicants that file after that date.

If 2013 taxes have not yet been filed, actual tax data from 2012 may be used on the FAFSA as an estimate for 2013 if income remained relatively the same to meet Purdue's March 1 priority date. The FAFSA contains an option of "Will file" [taxes] for this reason. Some tax filers will be eligible, and are strongly encouraged, to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to update the information after taxes have been filed. Information will be transferred from the IRS directly into the FAFSA with this option. A short video is provided below that explains this process.




FAFSA Filing Tips

Both the student and one parent should obtain a PIN from the U.S. Department of Education at www.pin.ed.gov.

  • A 2014-15 FAFSA on the Web worksheet can be printed at www.fafsa.gov. Completing the worksheet will help you prepare your answers to the FAFSA questions prior to entering the information online. FAFSA on the Web Worksheet forms are also available from your high school, local library, and the DFA.
  • Students and parents should gather their 2013 income information.
  • Students and parents with FAFSA filing questions can contact FAFSA customer service agents at 800-433-3243, get online help, or watch a video that goes through each step of the application.
  • FAFSA filers should provide a current, valid e-mail address that the U.S. Department of Education and Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA), formerly known as the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), can use to communicate important information about the FAFSA status and aid eligibility from the State of Indiana.
  • Be sure to enter Federal School Code 001825 to allow your information to be sent to Purdue University West Lafayette.
  • The DFA recommends printing the FAFSA on the Web submission confirmation page as proof of completion. Keep this in your records.
  • You can apply for financial aid prior to applying for admission to Purdue. However, you must be admitted to a degree-seeking program (or a teacher’s certification program) before eligibility will be calculated and to receive financial aid.

Applications for Private Aid

Private Scholarships

Students, especially incoming freshmen, should apply for private scholarships with private donors as early as possible leading up to freshman year. Scholarship opportunities can be found in your local community and nationwide. High schools are a good resource to find out where to find locally funded scholarships. Scholarships offered on a broader level can be found by searching online. FastWeb is a free scholarship search website recommended by Purdue.

Private Loans

A large number of private commercial education loan options are available to assist students and families in meeting college costs. Loan applications are completed with your lender of choice. Your lender is required to provide the borrower with three additional Truth-in-lending statements at specific points in the application process. As a result, we are recommending that you apply at least 30 days prior to the date you need the funds and comply quickly to information requests from your lender. Read more about private loans.

Step 2. Verify

Step 2. Verify Your FAFSA

Verify Steps

Verification is a process that the Division of Financial Aid conducts on a percentage of students to comply with federal regulations. Purdue is required to verify the information provided on the FAFSA with tax documents to ensure students are awarded properly with financial aid eligibility. If selected for verification, our office will request documentation regarding the information reported on your FAFSA application. Be sure to respond directly and promptly to the Division of Financial Aid. State aid agencies conduct their own verification process. If the Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA), formerly known as the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), or your home state’s aid agency request verification documents, you must send the required documentation directly to them.

Common Verification Requirements

The Division of Financial Aid will notify students of which verification documents are required through the student's myPurdue account beginning in late February each year. Students and parents who supply an email address on the FAFSA will receive an email notification of requested information.

  • Tax Transcript Verification - these requests may be satisfied by updating estimated tax information on the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by providing a copy of tax transcripts or foreign tax transcripts. Student information is always required for records chosen for verification. If the student is dependent, parent information will also be required. Custodial parents who are remarried must also provide their current spouse's tax information. Verification of reported assets may also be requested. Do not send the Division of Financial Aid your tax forms, business information, or state or federal paperwork unless instructed to do so.

    • Obtain a Tax Transcript from the IRS – Account Transcripts are NOT acceptable

      Copies of tax returns are no longer an acceptable form of income documentation. Please do not submit copies of your federal tax returns unless specifically asked to do so. Documentation of items found on a tax return will need to be completed either by using the ‘Link to IRS’ feature found on the FAFSA website (preferred method) or requesting a tax return transcript from the IRS. There are three ways to request your tax return transcript: online, by phone, or by mail/fax. Please review the chart found lower on this page for a timeframe of when either of these features should be available to you. Please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript. Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.

      • To request online:
        • Go to www.irs.gov
        • Click "Order a Return or Account Transcript" located under the Tools heading
        • Click "Order a Transcript" under Step 3
        • Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code
          • Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
        • Click "Continue"
        • Select "Return Transcript"
        • Enter "2013" for the 2014-2015 FAFSA.
        • Click Continue
        • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in your online request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the on-line request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
      • To request via telephone
        • Call the IRS Transcript Order Line at 1-800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
        • Enter and verify Social Security Number
        • Enter and verify numbers in street address
          • Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
        • Select option "2" to request a Tax Return Transcript
        • Enter “2013” for the 2014-2015 FAFSA.
        • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in your telephone request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
      • To request via mail
        • IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
        • Download at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf.
        • Complete lines 1 – 4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
        • Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS. Purdue prefers that you have the transcript mailed to you and that you then submit it to our office once you receive it. You will need to make sure the student’s name and Purdue ID # are on the transcript.
        • On line 6, enter “2013” for the 2014-2015 FAFSA.
        • The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
        • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
        • You can expect to receive your transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes your signed request. NOTE: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.
    • Age of Student's Dependent Children Verification - Students with dependents will need to complete this form electronically on myPurdue, to verify the age of dependent children for daycare allowance purposes.
    • Enrollment Plans - Students must submit their enrollment plans electronically for the upcoming academic year via myPurdue.
    • Graduate Form - All graduate students seeking financial aid will need to submit an electronic Graduate Form via myPurdue.
Red Flag

Red flags on your myPurdue "Financial" tab indicate an unsatisfied requirement. Click on the requirement name in blue text to view a PDF form of what is needed or to be taken to an online form.
 

Processing Timelines

Once our office has received the requested verification information, It will take 1-2 business days to review the documentation and compare it to the FAFSA. If the information on the FAFSA does not match the verification documentation, we will update the FAFSA data and revise financial aid eligibility accordingly. These revisions typically take 7-10 business days after the initial review of verification information. The student will receive a notification through their Purdue email account after revisions have been made and will be directed to their myPurdue account to view the changes.

Important Notes

  • By submitting the FAFSA, you agreed to provide any additional information that the school requests.
  • It is your responsibility to comply in a timely manner to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  • Verification must be completed before the last day of the student's enrollment; however, please be advised that financial aid will not credit a student's bill if outstanding verification requirements exist. Additionally, financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis; eligibility may decrease if funding is no longer available at the time verification is submitted.
  • To avoid unnecessary delays and further requests, do not send our office verification documents unless they have been requested of you specifically by Purdue University. The Federal Processor may indicate that your record was selected for verification; this is separate from Purdue's request for verification.
Back to Step 1 Step 3. Review

Step 3. Review the Award Notice

The Division of Financial Aid (DFA) sends award notices to first-time students who are admitted to Purdue, applied for financial aid, and submitted all verification information that was requested in late March or early April. Notification is sent to the student's Purdue.edu email address as long as it has already been established. The email directs students to view their financial aid offer online in their myPurdue system under the Financial Tab. Notifications will be sent to parents who supplied a parent email address on the FAFSA. Award letters will also be sent through postal mail to the family's home address.

The DFA sends award notices to continuing students who have applied for financial aid and submitted all verification information requested in late June each year. Notification is sent to the student's Purdue.edu email address. The email directs students to view their financial aid offer online in their myPurdue system under the Financial Tab.

Example Award Notice


Award Notices include information about gift aid, work-study, and loans offered to a student.

As families review the award notice and Purdue Financial Aid Terms and Conditions, keep in mind that grants and scholarships are types of gift assistance that do not need to be repaid. Loans and work-study are types of self-help financial aid that must be repaid either in money or labor.

Ask Yourself...

When reviewing your financial aid offer, ask yourself these questions to get a comprehensive understanding of your cost of attendance and financial responsibilities:

  • What will my costs be? Where can I save? On your award notice, DFA estimates costs that we expect you will incur throughout an entire academic year. Review your housing and meal plan choices, personal budget, and transportation options to see where you can lower your costs.
  • Do I have any outside resources? These can include savings from the prior summer income, income from a part-time job during the school year, funds from college savings plans, private scholarships, and monetary gifts from family. These resources directly reduce the amount you need to borrow in student loans.
  • How much will I need to borrow? After determining your costs, subtract the total of outside resources and gift aid you have available. This is your remaining net cost to be covered by loans.
  • What are my responsibilities to keep my financial aid? In order to use financial aid, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), a minimum of half-time enrollment, and will need to attend the courses you are registered for. Some financial aid awards have special requirements, such as the Purdue Promise program. Purdue's Presidential and Trustees scholarships have a miminum cumulative GPA requirement of 3.0. Federal Work-Study awards will not credit to your Purdue invoice. They are earned through paychecks from a part-time Work-Study job.

Know Before You Owe

The DFA encourages students and their families to consider the debt from educational loans carefully before accepting any loan offers. Review alternative options available to reduce the amount you borrow.

  • Calculate the total debt and monthly payments for loans accrued over the span of your educational career, not just one academic year.
  • Compare your total debt to your projected future income. Is this a wise investment? Will the payments be manageable?
  • Consider your loan co-signers, parents who are borrowing a Parent PLUS loan, and others who may be borrowing on your behalf. Will their possible future debt payments be manageable?
Back to Step 2 Step 4. Accept

Step 4. Accept Financial Aid

Students and families accept financial aid shortly after reviewing the financial aid offer. Financial aid is typically accepted for both the Fall and Spring semester at once. While no official deadline for accepting aid exists, keep in mind that financial aid will not credit to your Purdue invoice until aid is accepted. The DFA recommends students to accept aid no less than 4 weeks before the start of the semester. Each type of aid has unique requirements for acceptance.

Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

  • 1. Accept the loan on myPurdue under the "Financial" tab > "Award for Aid Year" > "Accept Award Offer"
  • 2. First time Stafford loan borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the student information and click "Complete MPN."
  • 3. First time Stafford loan borrowers will also need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling, also at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the student information and click "Complete Entrance Counseling."

Perkins Loan

  • 1. Accept the loan on myPurdue under the "Financial" tab > "Award for Aid Year" > "Accept Award Offer"
  • 2. First-time Perkins loan borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at ECSI

Purdue Loans

  • 1. Accept the loan on myPurdue under the "Financial" tab > "Award for Aid Year" > "Accept Award Offer"
  • 2. Complete a promissory note at ECSI. This is done each year you borrow a Purdue loan.

Parent PLUS Loan

  • 1. One parent needs to submit a Parent PLUS Loan application at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the parent information and click "Request PLUS Loan."
  • 2. Once credit approved, the same parent, if a first-time Parent PLUS borrower, will complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the same parent information and click "Complete MPN."
  • 3. If credit denied, the parent has several options: replace the Parent PLUS loan with $4,000-$5,000 unsubsidized Stafford loan and/or private loan up to the remaining cost, reapply for the Parent PLUS Loan with a co-signer, or reapply with a different parent borrower.

Graduate PLUS Loan

  • 1. The student will complete a PLUS Loan application at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the student information and click "Request PLUS Loan."
  • 2. Once credit approved, the student, if a first-time Grad PLUS borrower, will complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov. Sign into the website with the student information and click "Complete MPN."

Federal Work-Study

  • 1. Accept Work-Study on myPurdue under the "Financial" tab > "Award for Aid Year" > "Accept Award Offer"
  • 2. Find a Work-Study job by searching through job postings and contacting listed employers for the application process.
  • 3. Once you have secured a Work-Study job, visit the Student Employment office or the DFA office on campus for a Payroll Authorization Form (PAF). Give this form to your employer when you begin your job. Remember you can only work during the semesters you are enrolled and can pick up the PAF no earlier than the first day of the semester.

Private Loans

  • 1. Research your private loan options. Review our private loan information and search online for lenders.
  • 2. Complete a loan application with your lender. Most lenders have applications available on their website.
  • 3. Once credit approved, contact your lender for the next steps necessary.
  • 4. Your lender will contact the DFA for certification of your loan. Once certified, the loan will appear in your financial aid package on your myPurdue account.
  • Note that the private loan application process typically takes at least 30 days. Apply as early as you can so that funds arrive in time for the bill due date.

Private Scholarships

Gift Aid

The majority of gift aid, such as scholarships, grants, and fee remissions, are automatically accepted on your behalf. Some awards have special requirements, such as the Purdue Promise program.

Back to Step 3 Step 5. Finalize

Step 5. Finalize Your Financial Aid

As the upcoming semester nears, you will need to finalize your financial aid to ensure timely payment to your Purdue bill.

  • Double-check that all requirements are complete. Check for any red flags on your myPurdue account and check that all expected aid is crediting to your Purdue invoice.
  • Confirm your enrollment. The DFA and the Bursar ask that you confirm your enrollment and accept your fees before each semester. By confirming your enrollment and accepting fees you are acknowledging your financial obligation to pay, by the due date, any tuition, fees, and housing charges assessed and billed to your student account. On your myPurdue account, under the Financial tab, click on "Confirm your enrollment for the coming semester."
  • Direct where to send your refund. Students can sign up for Direct Deposit for their financial aid refund via myPurdue. Otherwise, refund paper checks will go to your local address listed on your myPurdue account. Parent PLUS refunds can be sent to the student or the parent, depending on what is indicated on the Parent PLUS loan application.
    Expect to receive your refund no earlier than one week before the first day of each semester. Plan your textbook purchases and rent payments/deposits accordingly.
  • Sign up for the Bursar installment plan or make one payment up-front. If there is a remaining balance on your Purdue invoice that you plan on paying out-of-pocket, you will need to sign up for the installment plan or make a full payment before the first day of the semester.
Back to Step 4